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Mark Wahlberg's new HBO Max docuseries dives deep into his life, with a focus on the actor's various business ventures.
The show, titled Wahl Street, finds Wahlberg balancing his numerous businesses with his career as a movie star and producer—and just as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
In the show's first episode, Wahlberg reveals the secret to his success outside of acting.
You know Mark Wahlberg, the movie star, but do you know Mark Wahlberg, the entrepreneur? A new HBO Max docuseries titled Wahl Street aims to make sure you're familiar not only with the former, but the latter as well, exploring his life before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wahlberg started, of course, as a rapper with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, before transitioning to underwear modeling, and then acting. The acting, he says in the show's first episode, people took as a practical joke. But he chose to prove the doubters wrong—and that's the mentality he chooses to carry into his numerous business ventures, which include restaurant ownership, fitness, and TV production.
"Sometimes I feel like I should just go back to making movies, but I'm also doing things that I'm passionate about and that I believe in, and that are really kind of a direct extension of who I am," he says. "I'm wanting to share that and really inspire other entrepreneurs to go out there and figure out how to do it and go out and make it happen."
He can't do it all on his own, though. The show depicts him soliciting advice from people like clothing maven and Shark Tank star Daymond John and UFC President Dana White.
And Wahlberg knows the pressure that comes with success, too. With his fast-growing businesses—mainly, F45 gyms and Wahlburgers restaurants—he gets people who are investing in his franchises, and, by extension, him. And he doesn't want to let those people down.
"I think, ultimately, at the end of the day, I've got the bug. I've got the bug for business, and I've got people who are, like, putting in parts of their life savings, and betting their future on me and us," he says. "So I'm going to work twice as hard to make sure that I am bringing something to the table that's beneficial to other people."
And one more important thing? The 49-year-old Wahlberg knows that he's got a privilege—making movies as his base income—that most entrepreneurs don't come close to.
"It's fantastic to be able to make a living making movies and acting. Having the luxury of being able to have a great day job—which I take very seriously—is allowing me to take these other bets."
So what businesses does Mark Wahlberg own?
As the debut episode of Wahl Street details, Wahlberg has eight businesses taking up most of his attention. Those are: Closest to the Hole (a film and TV production company for scripted content), Aquahydrate (a water company), Performance Inspired (a nutrition company whose products you might find online or in a GNC), F45 (a fast-growing chain of gyms), Municipal (a clothing company), Mark Wahlberg Auto Group (a series of now four car dealerships in and around Colombus, Ohio), Unrealistic Ideas (a production company for unscripted/nonfiction ideas, such as docuseries and podcasts), and, of course, Wahlburgers (the series of burger joints that he describes in the episode as a "family-owned restaurant chain").
The show will dive into all of these through the course of the run on HBO Max. But it's interesting to see even in just the first episode that the show isn't going to be completely scrubbed of any and all issues. We see in the first episode that the London Wahlburgers restaurant is understaffed, having trouble making money, and even receiving some complaints about the taste of the meat in the hamburgers. We also see the steps being taken to change that.
Wahl Street is produced by Wahlberg and his team, so obviously, the series is an attempt to paint him in a positive light. But some of the transparent and real moments along the way should be really interesting—and perhaps particularly helpful, as the star hopes, for hopeful entrepreneurs.
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