Mark Wahlberg is going all method for his role in his upcoming film, The Gambler. The actor lost a bunch of weight and then a bunch of money, just like his character in the film. As part of his mental preparation for the role, Wahlberg took a trip to Steve Wynn’s giant casino in Macau, China. Not surprisingly, the former rapper took an entourage with him, and each member ponied up some loot for Wahlberg to gamble with. All part of the life, you know.
Wahlberg told Jimmy Fallon that he started off with a bang, splitting aces twice at the black jack table for a triple win–and $45,000. He then promptly surrendered those winnings at the roulette wheel with a let-it-ride wager on black. Came up red. (It’s China, Mark!) Wahlberg told Fallon that while his crew was pissed at the loss, he was thrilled. Because that’s the story arc for his character in the film–The Gambler takes some hits. Some families struggling this holiday season will find Wahlberg’s tale of excess and his cavalier attitude toward what for many is a year’s pay a little distasteful, even in the service of his art. But Steve Wynn will surely appreciate it. After a great start, the casino business in Macau has been severely slumping.