10 Questions for Mark Wahlberg

The actor's new buddy-cop film, The Other Guys , is out now. Mark Wahlberg will now take your questions

  • Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / Corbis

    Would you make a good cop in real life? — Andrea Gaerlan, San Diego
    Of course I would. I made a good crook. It's a very fine line between the two. I have friends who did worse things than I did and actually went on to become cops. They just didn't get caught.

    Do you prefer doing comedy or drama? — Dennis Cross, Dixon, Mo.
    We'll see how this one plays out, but I want to be able to do it all. Coming from a dramatic background, if you do a comedy and you stink, they'll hammer you. So I waited for the right opportunity. Acting in a comedy is the most challenging, because you have to risk looking ridiculous day in and day out.

    What's it like working with Will Ferrell? Is he out of control? — Zeke Jensen, Libertyville, Ill.
    No, he's a sweetheart. I came into the situation being really shy, and [he and director Adam McKay] encouraged me to open up, to be crazy. It was like pouring gasoline on a fire. And they never said to me, "Hey, come on. Calm down. We've got to be serious now." I like working in a free environment.

    Were you actually upset with Andy Samberg's Saturday Night Live impersonation of you? — Danny Gill, Cincinnati
    No. No. But did I do a good job? Did people believe that I was [angry]? I wasn't aware of the skit, and then people showed it to me. I was like, Well, it's not that funny, but it's still flattering to be spoofed on Saturday Night Live . I had been asked a number of times to host the show, so it seemed like a good way to check it out.

    Has being a rapper negatively or positively influenced how people view you? — In Kyung Yoo, Los Angeles
    Probably a little bit of both. I was always a bit more sensitive to it, especially when I started [acting]. Before Will Smith, most musicians who made movies were awful. When I decided to go into acting, I definitely wanted to make people forget about my music career.

    Would you be willing to drop a hot eight bars on a rap song if asked by the right artist? — Paul Susuico, Austin
    No. Not a chance. Actually, I'll take that back. If Justin Bieber asked me, I'd do that for my daughter. She loves me to death, but she doesn't think I'm very cool, so that might turn it around.

    You led a wild teenage life and were imprisoned. What advice do you give your kids so they avoid making the same mistakes? — Adriana Alvarez, San José, Costa Rica
    I made a lot of mistakes because I had a lot of free time. My parents both worked numerous jobs just to put food on the table. So I want to make sure I'm involved in every aspect of my kids' lives. I really try to instill values — faith being the most important.

    How has being a practicing Catholic helped you in your career? — Ari del Rosario, Manila
    Anything that's good in my life is because of my faith. A lot of people get in trouble, go to jail and find God, and the minute they don't need God anymore, they're gone. But I spend a good portion of my day thanking God for all the blessings that have been bestowed on me. If it all ended today, I'd be happy. I've had such an amazing journey.

    You've worked with visionary auteurs such as Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson and David O. Russell. Which director challenged you most as an actor? — Ahnmin Lee, Staten Island, N.Y.
    I would have to say Martin Scorsese, because he's Martin Scorsese. He doesn't take anything less than your best. Making The Departed , I felt like I was most comfortable, because I was familiar with [Boston] — certainly with the police and the system. But he demanded a lot.

    If you could redo your whole career, what would you change? — Jessica Spiegel, Winter Park, Fla.
    The one thing I will say is that stupid book I did that I dedicated to my penis. I was trying to be funny and sarcastic. Of course, it's something I get asked about all the time now.