Mark Wahlberg has ventured into science fiction movies before with roles in Planet of the Apes and a Transformers movie — but in a 2013 interview with Total Film, he revealed that he ended up declining a role in one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of them all: Star Trek.
Wahlberg, who most recently starred alongside Spider-Man actor Tom Holland in the video game movie Uncharted, said that he was offered the role of Captain Kirk’s father by JJ Abrams, the director of the 2009 Star Trek movie. However, when it came to declining the role, which ended up going to Marvel movie actor Chris Hemsworth, Wahlberg had a good reason for doing so.
“I love JJ Abrams,” he explained. “I’ve only seen the original Star Wars when I was a kid, but, you know, my dad wasn’t really into sci-fi and so, you know, I grew up watching Cagney, Steve McQueen, John Garfield, Robert Ryan movies — like the movie I just made, Broken City, but I’m interested to see what JJ did [with Star Wars].”
He continued, “I remember him asking me to play Captain Kirk’s father in Star Trek , and I tried to read the script, but I didn’t understand the words of the dialogue or anything. I said, ‘I couldn’t do this. I think you’re really talented, but I couldn’t do it.’ Then, I saw the movie and I was like ‘Holy shit, he did a great job,’ so I think he’ll do something spectacular [with Star Wars] and I probably wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with JJ again so if he wanted me to do something that I couldn’t feel it fully understand, I would probably give it a shot.”
To find out more about J.J. Abrams’ recent work with his Star Wars movies, check out our guides to the best Star Wars characters, best Star Wars villains, and the Star Wars cast. Have a look at our article on Star Trek 4 as well, for where the franchise is boldly going next.