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How Mark Wahlberg & Leonardo DiCaprio’s Bond Grew Through ‘Basketball Diaries’

How Mark Wahlberg & Leonardo DiCaprio’s Bond Grew Through ‘Basketball Diaries’

On Tuesday, actor Mark Wahlberg opened up about his past feud with “The Basketball Diaries” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Before landing roles in the movie, they opposed the idea of working together. At a Q&A for The LEAP Foundation in Los Angeles, Wahlberg recalled, “He didn’t want me for the part, and I didn’t think he was right for the part. We both had to really learn how to respect each other, and we earned it.”

They eventually formed a “strong bond,” with Leonardo recommending Mark to James Foley for a role in the 1996 film “Fear.”

Three years ago, Wahlberg opened up on Leonardo’s initial reaction to his casting in “The Basketball Diaries.” He told The Hollywood Reporter, “Leonardo was like, ‘Over my dead f**king body. Marky Mark’s not going to be in this f**king movie,’” Wahlberg recalled. “Because we’d had a thing — I didn’t even realize it, [but] I was a bit of a d**k to him at a charity basketball game. So he was like, ‘This f**king a**hole is not going to be in this movie.’”

“So I come in and I do the audition, and I kind of look at him, and he kind of looks at me, and then we do a scene, and they’re like, ‘Hmm, this f**king dude’s pretty good, right?’ The next thing you know, boom, we’re hanging out,” he added.

Since his role in “The Basketball Diaries,” Mark has been a Hollywood A-lister. During his chat with LEAP founder Dr. Bill Dorfman, Wahlberg also stressed the importance of working hard – crediting it as his secret to success.