Fan Facts: Mark Wahlberg

Myth: Have you seen Mark Wahlberg in his previous incarnation as the Calvin Klein underwear model? This "Hello Girls" vision certainly fuelled vivid imagination - but could a 13-inch number fit in those pants? No. In reality, Mark's role as an appendage-advantaged porn star in Boogie Nights, included a prosthetic, erm, John Thomas.

Conviction: Mark has many convictions - of both the alleged racist and homophobe type, and a brief spell behind bars for assault. He once said that there were three things he would never do in movies, sing, dance and take off his underwear. It could be said that Mark illustrates a distinct lack of resolve.

Doubting Thomas: Mark worries that the scale of his John Thomas in Boogie Nights may raise unrealistic expectations from the ladies. "Success might make it easier for me to get a date," he says. "But I don't know how easy it's going to be to keep one after they learn the truth." He could always keep the prosthetic, just to kindly quell complaints!

Flame: The all-American boy's latest girl-friend is none other than the English rose actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Having been dumped by Brad Pitt, she has found herself a man whose looks aren't unlike Brad's. Wonder what her therapist makes of that?

Method: Little did Mark know that dropping his trousers on stage, when he was in New Kids on The Block, would prove so useful as training for the part of porn star in Boogie Nights.

Flexible: Mark has not only showed his nifty manoeuvres in Boogie Nights, but his CV illustrates a man on a successful mission to planet fame. After appearing in boy band New Kids on the Block, he then formed his own outfit, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and was an immediate hit. Modelling was followed by, you've guessed it, parts in films like Renaissance Man, The Basketball Diaries and Fear. Needless to say, he is a better actor than rapper.

Don't blame it on the boogie: Mark is unrepentant about the sex, drugs and... purely hedonistic nature of Boogie Nights. "This is a difficult story to tell. People are scared of this material," he says. "I put the script down and thought, `Well this guy is a genius'. He's telling a story here that is so funny, disturbing and totally original. It's wonderful."

Next film: Next month Mark will be on the screens again with The Travellers. He plays Pat, a young man who, after his father's death, returns to the travellers community that once rejected his father for marrying an outsider. He stars alongside Julianna Margulies (ER) and Bill Paxton (Twister).

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