'Happily Ever After' Awaits Mark Wahlberg and Family

10/06/2008 at 07:00 PM ET

For Ella Rae Wahlberg, 5, fairy tales really do come true — or, at the very least, they are about to. In a recent interview with Elle magazine, actor Mark Wahlberg opens up about his upcoming marriage to model Rhea Durham, with whom he has three children — Ella, Michael, 2 ½, and new baby Brendan Joseph, 3 weeks. Calling his daughter "extremely smart," Mark, 37, says that Ella is "really articulate and tuned in to everything that’s going on around her." Including, it seems, the significance of her parents nuptials.

"She’s excited, and she asks a lot of questions. A lot of questions … And she’s obsessed right now with princesses and fairy tales and being kissed by the prince and happily ever after and, of course, ‘Will you marry me?’"

The best part of all for Ella? "We’re all going to have the same last name," Mark says. The couple’s path to the altar wasn’t always so clear cut; Mark and Rhea briefly parted ways after Ella was born, and had been on-again, off-again for several years prior. It was their shared commitment to their daughter that led them to reconsider the break-up, however. "We always wanted to make it work, we wanted to be together, we wanted to raise our family together," Mark reveals. "And it’s been a lot of hard work and counseling, and I think that’s the only way to make it work, to put in the time and effort. I can’t talk about why and what happened [when I left], obviously. But going away doesn’t make it work."

Click ‘More’ to read about why Mark is an overprotective parent and his Funky Bunch past.

For Mark, some film roles hit too close to home. In The Lovely Bones, due in theaters next year, he plays the father of a 14-year-old girl who is raped and murdered and Mark admits he was "glad" when the film wrapped. "Anything like that is extremely upsetting," he tells Elle. "It’s different when you have kids." Mark’s own upbringing makes him particularly cautious as a parent, often checking on Ella, Michael and Brendan multiple times each night before going to bed, himself.

"I make sure everything’s locked and the alarm is on and everyone is snug and safe because I’ve always been like that. I grew up in a bad neighborhood, and you have to do that."

There are other moments in his career that Mark is equally unwilling to revisit, although for different reasons entirely! Of his past as a pants-dropping rapper and occasional underwear model, Mark admits that he’ll someday have "a lot of explaining to do" to the kids. He recently saw a clip of himself on the vH1 special 40 Hottest Hotties of the ’90s and said he "could not have been more embarrassed" when he took the #1 spot. 

"All I thought about was my kids seeing it. Because, as we all know, kids can be cruel."

Mark’s new film, Max Payne, hits theaters October 17.

Source: Elle

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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JM on

I just love Mark. He was all over Philly news stations today promoting his film but no real mention of his kids.

EditorJax on

I really like Mark and Rhea; they seem to have a lot of love for each other and their kids, and I appreciate his candidness about it not being the easiest road. I am really happy that they have found a way to work things out so they can be a family.

Lily on

It still baffles me how much he’s grown both professionally and personally over the past years. I still remember being six or seven and listening to Good Vibrations on the radio. If someone had told me that later on in life, Mr. I drop my draws at every occassion I can, would be an Oscar nominated actor and family man, I would’ve laughed in their face lol.

Alicia on

It’s amazing how someone can turn their life around, isn’t it? It’s beautiful.

Bancie1031 on

Yes Mark does show you that people really can and do change. I love this family and I hope that we keep seeing updates on them please CBB!

Anonymous on

I have a hard time forgetting Mark Wahlberg’s past. I don’t know if you’re all aware, but at age 16 he robbed a pharmacy, knocked a Vietnamese man unconscious, left another Vietnamese man blinded in one eye, and attacked a security guard. He was charged with attempted murder but pled guilty to assault. I really don’t think his pants-dropping as Marky Mark is the most shameful thing he’s ever done…hurting and robbing those people definitely is something he would have to explain to his children.

I give him credit for giving up his thug life, but I think those people he hurt along the way may not be too eager to see him up on the silver screen.

Lily on

I am aware of his past run in’s with the law and don’t condone his actions, as I’m sure, he doesn’t today either, but that’s also what I meant by him turning his life around. When anyone can successfully do that, I applaud them.

Rebecca on

I love good vibrations and always will!!! lol

lilith on

Well, I’m with anonymous on this. It’s not “only” materialistic delicts he caused, he threatened and harmed other people’s lives in a way that affects them forever. It’s good that he was able to turn his life around, but I’m having a hard time to actually applaud him.

Harley on

Who is to say he hasn’t tried to make ammends for the ways of a kid who grew up in the slums? I’m not saying it’s an excuse but it sure wasn’t an easy path. Yes, he will have to face those questions when his children grow up but that was also 21 years ago. 21 years is a long time and who says he doesn’t still feel guilt for what he’s done? At least he changed his ways and grew up and has continued to be a better man. He could have stayed a punk. What would you rather have? Hell, I’ve been attacked and I’d be a heck of a lot happier if that guy turns his life around so I know he’s not out doing the same thing to someone else.

Anonymous on

Of course no one is debating the fact that he’s better off having cleaned up his act. No one would prefer that he still be a criminal. But what I was trying to express is that he left someone blinded FOR LIFE. I grew up in a bad neighborhood with a single parent, and my brother and I did not turn to crime. I just don’t understand the comments about about “loving” Mark Wahlberg and calling him “beautiful” for not being a criminal anymore. Yes, he gets credit for that, but if it were me who had been attacked savagely and blinded by him, I certainly wouldn’t be praising him.

Josie Kay on

Mark has turned his life around..ALL OF IT. Anonymous, would you be happy if Mark said, “Oh yeah when I was 16 I did this and this and this to people” in every interview? That would seem like he was GLOATING about what he did.

His family is beautiful, his children is beautiful but I hate to burst your bubble..he doesn’t claim to be perfect and maybe JUST maybe he doesn’t mention this part of his life because he has made peace with the people, himself and the only person who can truly judge him…GOD.

Ella, Michael and Brendan are healthy thriving little children who have a loving and protective father. His brother is the EXACT same way!

God Bless the Wahlberg families…

Lily on

Well said, Josie Kay.

Anonymous on

Josie Kay, Mark admits to not making amends with the people he hurt. From an interview with ABC News, “A Candid Chat with Mark Wahlberg” 9/26/06:

“He harassed a group of African American school kids with racist epithets, and when he was 16, again using racist language, he attacked a middle-aged Vietnamese man and left the man blind in one eye. Wahlberg was arrested for attempted murder, plead guilty to assault, and spent 45 days in jail.

And though the right thing to do would be to try to find the man and make amends, Wahlberg says, he admits he hasn’t done so — but says he’s no longer burdened by guilt.

“I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes,” Wahlberg says. “You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn’t until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning.”

I encourage you to read more about this, especially the racial comments he continued to make after the attack towards Asians, which still upsets many to this day.

Again, what I’m saying is that I’m glad he’s no longer attacking random people in the street with baseball bats, but I have trouble applauding him because I don’t feel he has apologized to the Asian community or to his victims.

JM on

I think it’s great when people can do a complete 180 with their life. I am sure Mark regrets the things he’s done but he can’t change it. All he can do now is be a better role model for his family. I don’t think anyone should fault him for that. The same things can be said for children who have everything and are raised by good parents yet they still grow up to committ crimes as adults!! I applaud Mark for taking responsibility for his actions and changing his life for the better. You can’t live your life in the past and you can’t live your life in regret. It’s all about what you do with you life from here on out that counts.

Josie Kay on

Anonymous in his OWN words he stated and I directly quote “I did a lot of things that I regretted and I certainly paid for my mistakes,” Wahlberg says. “You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn’t until I really started doing good and doing right, by other people as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning.”

To me, this sounds like a man who has INDEED dealt with his issues. As far as Mark and racial bias..have you SEEN the people he is CLOSE friends with? Some of those that he got into trouble with were of the same ethnic background…when you are at that age (Yes, I have worked with at risk gang bangers in the inner city along with crack babies and substance abuse children) Did Mark mess up. Yes. In his own words he seems to be saying that he has made peace with it. Have you messed up at all, hurt someone? I have, not to that extent but I have made mistakes and I am sure you have. This is NOT a perfect world nor is Mark claiming to be a PERFECT person. He never tried to hide his past. He OWNED it. He’s GROWN UP. Give him A LOT of credit for NOT ending up in jail!

CelebBabyLover on

Josie Kay- Very well said! I personally think that, for whatever reason, it was maybe better for him NOT to make amends with those people. We don’t know the entire story, nor will we ever.

I have never been viciously attacked (much less blinded for life), so obviously I don’t know how I’d feel towards my attacker several years afterword if that happened.

However, my dad recently went through an extremely hard time. He was not physically hurt, but mentally, he was basically “stabbed in the back” by people at his previous place of work…and some of those people were even people he had once considered to be his friends.

I’m not going to go into details, but I will say that he was hurt pretty badly. Not physically, but mentally. However, even though those people treated him so badly, he, my mother, and I, along with the rest of our family, have forgiven them (even though it was just over a year ago that the incident occured).

Will we ever forget that horrible incident? Of course not. However, we can and have moved on and forgiven the people who hurt my dad. We also don’t think ill of them or wish them any ill. We don’t believe that is a healthy way to be.

Who’s to say that it isn’t the same with Mark’s victims? I’m just trying to point out that in situations like this, it’s usually not all “black and white”.

Anonymous on

Josie Kay,

I came here to state my own opinion. No need to use so many all-caps to shout your opinion at me.

You must be a big fan of Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and probably NKOTB. I think that, unfortunately, good looks and money can blind people. If Mark weren’t a celebrity, and just a regular guy who lived down the street from you, you might not be singing his praises.

I’m not objecting to the fact that he’s cleaned up his act. What I’m objecting to is the idolatry displayed here…posters writing about how wonderful he is. That over-abundance of praise is undeserved, imo.

Again, this is MY opinion, not anyone else’. BTW, I’m a minority and I grew up in what you would call a “slum”. My brother and I never got into any trouble, although we were both assaulted at different times. I wasn’t permanently scarred or disfigured, but I definitely became fearful of walking down the street alone. If I learned today that my attacker was a family man and respectable member of the community, that would be fine but I wouldn’t be saying how much I love him or how beautiful he is. KWIM?