Mark Wahlberg hopes God forgives him for Boogie Nights, not his violent past

Mark Wahlberg hopes God forgives him for Boogie Nights, not his violent, racist past.
Mark Wahlberg Photo credit: Getty

Mark Wahlberg told a crowd at a Catholic gathering in Chicago that he hopes God forgives him for his film Boogie Nights rather than the violent attacks he carried out as a youth.

The former underwear model, also known as his musical moniker 'Marky Mark', was involved in a string of violent offences in the '80s and '90s, some of which saw him spend time behind bars.

Wahlberg made the comments about his Paul Thomas Anderson-directed 1997 film alongside a cardinal at an event that aimed to attract more young people into the church.

"I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I've made some poor choices in my past," he said.

"Boogie Nights is up there at the top of the list."

Wahlberg has attempted to have his violent crimes permanently expunged from his record, but they are published on many websites - including his Wikipedia page.

Before he was famous, he found trouble by throwing rocks at African-American children while yelling racist abuse at them. He also savagely beat two Vietnamese men while yelling racist abuse at them, along with other violent offences.

At the Chicago event, he did reference his "being affiliated with gangs" and "being incarcerated" - but didn't mention wanting God to forgive him over those issues.

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Boogie Nights has a rating of 93 percent, making it Wahlberg's second highest rated film behind Three Kings (94 percent). The Departed and The Fighter both scored 90 percent.

If he really wants divine forgiveness for his acting roles, he could seek it instead for some of his worst rated work such as The Happening, Max Payne, his two Transformers sequels, Daddy's Home, Entourage or Planet of the Apes.

It's not the first time Wahlberg has joked about hoping God forgives him for his movies. In 2015, before Pope Francis himself, he said he hoped the Holy Father had a sense of humour after referencing Ted.