Mark Wahlberg Explains the Heartwarming Reason Why He Watches His Kids' Games From the Car (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
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Mark Wahlberg is opening up about the reason he watches his kids' games from the car.
While speaking to ET about his new movie, Joe Bell, the 50-year-old actor revealed that he's trying his best to give his children a normal life. Wahlberg shares four kids -- Ella, 17, Michael, 15, Brendan, 12, and Grace, 11 -- with wife Rhea Durham.
"Me being in the public eye, there are pros to that, but there's a lot of cons," he explained. "My kids wanna have their own identity, you know? I'm not allowed to get out of the car at football practice or a game. I gotta sit in the car and watch."
"At first I took it personally, because I wanna be there to support them, but supporting them is by making them feel comfortable in what they're doing and them having their own identity too," he continued. "It's very difficult."
Wahlberg also plays a father onscreen in his latest movie, Joe Bell, which hits theaters Friday. It's a true story about a father who walked across America to speak out after his son, Jadin Bell (Reid Miller), was bullied for being gay.
"There's nothing more heartbreaking than somebody who's being bullied or picked on, or not accepted for who they are," Wahlberg said. "And that's gotta start in the home, I think. Making sure that you are talking to your kids, communicating with them, and first and foremost they understand that you love them unconditionally. You cheer for them and support them for being who they are, but they have to be able to communicate."
"In the day and age that we're living in now, where there's so much divide, people need to love and support each other," he added. "The only way that people are gonna come together is through love and understanding."
Connie Britton, who co-stars as Wahlberg's on-screen wife, Lola Bella, in the film, told ET that this is a movie all "about redemption."
"It's such a touching tragic story, but also one that we can really learn from," she explained. "It's because of Mark that the movie got made, and he brought such a passion to it. I think this felt like a very personal choice for him to do this movie, and his passion and his heartfulness was infectious."
"I felt it in every scene that we played together, which made it a joy for me," she continued. "He was so generous as an actor, but also as a producer in terms of just, we all wanted to dig in. We all wanted to know this family. So it really brought those scenes to life in a great way."