The actor decided he wants to make his girlfriend and two kids a priority

By Jed Dreben
October 04, 2007 07:00 AM
Semmer/face to face/iPhoto

Mark Wahlberg’s priorities are changing.

The actor has had so much fun and success in Hollywood, they made a hit TV show about him, but the father of two, has decided to take it down a notch.

“I’ve been really focused on me for quite sometime now,” admitted Wahlberg, 36, who said girlfriend Rhea Durham, daughter Ella, 4, and son, Michael, 18 months, “are definitely the priority” now.

“I figure I got a few more years to work really hard and then, you know, if I can make a movie every year and a half or something then that would be nice,” he told reporters at the press day for his latest film, We Own the Night. “I don’t want to work forever.”

The realization came to Wahlberg – whose life HBO’s Entourage is based on and which he also executive produces – on the heels of the highly successful movie The Departed, which brought the actor his first Oscar nomination. “It was at a really tough time,” Wahlberg said of starting work on We Own the Night. “I was about to have my second child. I had left shortly after my first child was born to work and that was a very difficult experience.”

Still, Wahlberg refers to the film as “a labor of love” adding that everyone, including him, had to make sacrifices to get it made. When asked which one he made, Wahlberg quipped: “Just my salary. I don’t know what Joaquin [Phoenix ] makes, but my salary for sure.”

We Own the Night, which also stars Phoenix, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall opens Oct. 12.

Currently, Wahlberg is shooting M. Night Shyamalan’s next project, The Happening, in which he plays a science teacher.

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