When an actor has been in as many films as Mark Wahlberg, you’d think there would be more than a few keepsakes and memorabilia stored up along the way. It’s just the nature of the business and would make sense for stars to bring home pieces of the production when things were all wrapped up and finished. But it seems that Mark Wahlberg kept a pretty specific prop from one of his earliest movies and it’s not exactly something you can hang above your mantle in a PG setting. While appearing on The Ellen Show Wahlberg discussed having saved the prosthetic penis he wore in Boogie Nights.
During the interview, Mark Wahlberg was asked by Ellen Degeneres to confirm or deny whether he’d kept the prop, something we see only at the end of the movie before his character is about to shoot another “scene”. Ellen asked Wahlberg whether he had kept it, following up a NY Post piece about the subject. Wahlberg responded definitively about what he did with it, where he kept it and why it wasn’t out on display in the family room. Check out what Mark Wahlberg had to say (via ScreenGeek) about the prop from Boogie Nights:
“Yes, yes. It’s in a safe locked away…It’s not something I could leave out. All of a sudden my kids are looking for a spare phone charger and pull that thing out and go, ‘What the heck is this?!’ It wouldn’t be a good look.”
It’s easy to forget now but when Boogie Nights came out it predated Mark Wahlberg becoming a full-fledged big-budget movie star. He was on the way for sure, but this was still in the relatively early days, having just done Fear and The Basketball Diaries. The Paul Thomas Anderson classic details the porn industry of the 1970s and Mark Wahlberg plays Dirk Diggler (Eddie Adams) who is introduced to the scene and all of the characters who take part in the business.
Mark Wahlberg was outstanding as the naive Diggler who has dreams of stardom while also struggling to deal with the trappings. In addition to Mark Wahlberg, there’s Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman among many others. PT Anderson was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards that year.
Following Boogie Nights Mark Wahlberg would go on to star in Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes, Rock Star, and The Italian Job. The movie stardom had taken hold and the rocket ship had left the launchpad. But as a memento, keeping the penis from Boogie Nights does seem oddly fitting for Wahlberg considering what it meant for his career. Is it an “inappropriate” way to remember that time? Sure, but it makes sense.
Mark Wahlberg is currently promoting his most recent film, Father Stu, in which he plays the titular character, a former boxer and alcoholic who eventually becomes a priest and helps an entire community. Wahlberg has signaled his intention to produce more faith-based work in coming years, a far cry from his role in Boogie Nights. Next up will be Me Time and then Arthur King which are set to come out in the next couple of years. Will be interesting to see what he keeps from those movies.