We had yet to see him on the big screen (his first theatrical feature The Renaissance Man, a Danny DeVito vehicle, was due the following year) so he was still in his "Marky Mark" underwear flashing rap star days. Early response to his acting was muted. It wasn't until the one-two critical successes of Boogie Nights (1997) and Three Kings (1999) that people started thinking 'hey, this guy is a decent actor'. Oscar voters ignored his brilliant I Heart Huckabees (2004) performance --his best ever say I-- but he'd get his first nomination for The Departed two years later. But ouch. M Night Shyamalan's The Happening just gave him his first round of truly bad performance reviews. How quickly will he recover?
time capsule: In late 1993 when this photo premiered in Vanity Fair, Oscar buzz was growing for current releases Schindler's List, The Piano, Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father, Philadelphia and The Age of Innocence. The latter two would stumble on nomination morning, missing key top categories. Summer hit The Fugitive took one of the best pic slots.
Musicians at the movies ~ Wahlberg wasn't the only singer working the screen. Will Smith, his contemporary in rapping and movie star dreams, made the transition to serious actor a touch faster: Six Degrees of Separation was also in theaters Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack from 1992 was still dominating the radio with hit after hit. In 1993, people still thought she was going to have a huge film career, too. (Oops). Madonna was torching whatever goodwill advances she'd made as an actress from A League of Their Own by following it up with Body of Evidence though she was actually pretty good in Dangerous Games (also that year, though no one saw it). Meanwhile, Janet Jackson was Poetic Justice and Tina Turner was getting wondrous biopic love courtesy of the incredible Angela Bassett, who received a well earned Best Actress nomination.
previously on @ the beach: Liev & Naomi, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Saïd, James Bond and Honey Ryder.
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