Parade Exclusive: Mark Wahlberg on Family, Faith, and the Importance of Legos

In a candid interview with Parade, Mark Wahlberg opened up about receiving his high school diploma earlier this year, the big role faith plays in his life, who makes up his “entourage” these days, his new film, Lone Survivor, and more!

Here are the highlights:

What were your biggest takeaways from filming Lone Survivor?

It takes a very special individual to become a SEAL. I felt it was so important to give the guys who never came down off that mountain their due. My wife couldn’t talk for 45 minutes after she saw the movie. All she kept thinking about were the sons and fathers and mothers and daughters out there fighting for our freedom. You take it for granted.

How do you spend Sundays?

If the kids are good, I’ll have doughnuts for them at 6:30 in the morning, and I’ll say, “You guys gotta let Mommy sleep in!” I’ll go to church at 7:30 and everybody will be eating breakfast when I come home. Then we’ll go to church again at 10:30, if things aren’t too hectic. Or if one of the kids has a game we’ll watch them play. It’s a nice family day.

Faith is obviously a big part of your life.

It’s the most important part of my life. I don’t try to push it on anybody and I don’t try to hide it.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

My sons and I thoroughly enjoy Legos. We go to the toy store every week for more. I never want to take what we build apart; I want to put it on a shelf. My wife is starting to get a little annoyed with the Legos lying around.

Who’s in your entourage now?

My wife, the kids, and a wonderful nanny. When I’m filming, all the guys are with me; but if I’m not at work, I’m with my family.

Did you feel you had a lot to prove early in your career?

Certainly. I don’t think it was customary for people from a music background to be accepted in film in a serious way. Considering what I had to overcome, I’ve had plenty to motivate me. Even more so today—I’m passionate about what I do. I’m a little older, but I’m not getting lazy!

For more from Mark Wahlberg’s exclusive interview, including his new reality series about his family’s Boston burger joint, Wahlburgers, go the the link below.

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Cher Tells Parade Chastity’s Gender Transition is Hard "Cause She’s Still My Girl"

Just in case you missed the recent Parade issue featuring Cher on the cover. Here is the story which includes  her thoughts on Chastity’s gender transition, ex-husbands Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman and her new boyfriend who she met online. Read on for some highlights…
Cher’s daughter, Chastity,  generated a ton of headlines last year when she revealed she was undergoing gender-transition surgery to become a man named Chaz. 
“When Chaz first told me about wanting a sex change, I had a really hard time with it,” Cher says. “We talked about the transgendered thing intermittently for years. She was unhappy. Plus, she was doing drugs. [Chaz was addicted to OxyContin]. I believed that once she stopped drugs, she would have a much better life and put the transgender idea on the back burner.” But after getting sober in 2004, Chaz became more determined than ever. “She said to me, ‘If I’m ever going to do it, I’ve got to do it now. I’m 40,’ ” Cher recalls. “I went, ‘If you’ve got to do it, dear, you’ve got to do it.’ ” In May, Chaz’s gender and name were legally changed.  “When I realized she was going to do it, it was rocky for me. I thought, What will the press do to her? What will they do to the two of us together? It’s going to be the biggest nightmare that will not stop. But the press was kinder than I thought they would be.”
“It’s hard, ’cause she’s still my girl. But she has an inner strength and she’s a courageous person—she believes what she believes. She and her girlfriend came over for dinner last night. All of us were there, my boyfriend too.”

Cher on Sonny’s control over her… 

“He didn’t want me to grow up or have any freedom. I wasn’t allowed to do anything except work. We worked more than we lived.” 

On Sonny Bono’s extracurriculars…

“Stardom made Sonny a huge womanizer,” Cher says. “One woman, or even five, was not enough for him. I found all this out afterward. I asked him, ‘How did you manage the logistics?’ I was trusting and faithful with him. The truth is, I’m not so sure we should’ve ever been husband and wife.” Feeling trapped and depressed, she considered suicide. “I thought about jumping off a hotel balcony,” she admits. “Then I thought, No, I can just leave him. When I told Sonny, he said, ‘If you leave me, America will hate you and you won’t have a job.’ I went, ‘You know what, Sonny?  I just don’t care!’ ” 

On her second husband, rocker Gregg Allman…

“Gregory was a Southern gentleman who also happened to be a heroin addict. I kept going to rehab with him to help him try to kick drugs. It was very hard for him. Then Elijah was born, and a year later I left Gregory for good. As crazy as I was about him, I wasn’t going to let him be around my kids.” Their son Elijah Blue Allman, now 34, struggled with heroin dependency, but he has reportedly been drug-free since an intervention organized by his mother in 2003. “Elijah’s doing really well,” she says. “He’s a good artist, a painter. He’s been asked by Louis Vuitton to design a label for them.” 

On dating Warren Beatty, Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and Richie Sambora…

“I enjoyed them all! I never felt I chose badly, and I was always happy when the next man came along. I can usually last about two years with a man, and that’s it. The moment the relationship goes into the phase of more commitment, it changes.”  

On Cher’s new man, Ron Zimmerman, a 52-year-old TV screenwriter she met online…

“Even though I’m older than him, I’d never before been with anybody over 30,” she admits, adding that Zimmerman is not her usual type: “Ron is short, a bit scraggly, like an absentminded professor. He’s the funniest person I have ever met, and the most eccentric—so bizarre and kind and very special.”         
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