Mark Wahlberg Refused to Do a Graphic Sex Scene in ‘Broken City’ Because of His Wife

Many actors have plenty of stories involving uncomfortable sex scenes. Transformers star Mark Wahlberg is no exception. In fact, Wahlberg once refused to do a sex scene in the 2013 thriller Broken City out of respect for his wife. However, to get out of doing the scene he had to make an uncomfortable compromise.

Iliza Shlesinger admitted it was nerve-racking doing love scenes with Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg wearing a black t-shirt while speaking into a microphone.
Mark Wahlberg | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

How actors feel about making love on-screen varies from person to person. But for comedian Iiliza Shlesinger, she couldn’t help but feel nervous when engaging with the Boogie Nights star. On The Late Late Show with James Corden, Shlesinger described her anxious experience making out with the veteran actor on Peter Berg’s Spenser Confidential.


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“I was nervous going in, nervous during it. I don’t know if you knew how nervous I was,” Shlesinger told Mark Wahlberg. “There’s no school for how to have sex with a huge movie star on camera.”

In the midst of the scene, Shlesinger sought comfort from Wahlberg to help her through the take.

“I asked you for a hug halfway through, because I just had to connect to you and I was so terrified,” Shlesinger continued. “You can’t enjoy it too much because you’re still professional but it’s still what it is.”

However, although Wahlberg had no problems doing a love scene for Spenser Confidential, it was a different story for Broken City.

Mark Wahlberg once refused to do a graphic sex scene because of his wife

Mark Wahlberg has occasionally spoken about how his wife, Rhea Durham, doesn’t want him doing sex scenes. Because of this, Wahlberg usually avoids indulging in raunchier content if he can help it.

“If it has anything to do with me kissing somebody my wife’s not gonna like it so I’ll fight to get it cut out,” Wahlberg told WENN (via Contact Music.) “Those are the more important issues. I usually try to choose my battles wisely.”

Because of this, Wahlberg tried to convince Broken City director Allen Hughes to omit a love scene. But to do so came at a cost for The Happening star.

“There’s a love scene in the movie that I’m shooting now (Broken City) that is very graphic and I’m like, ‘I really don’t want to do that,” Wahlberg shared.

He later revealed the humiliating compromise he had to make in order to get the scene cut.

“She (his onscreen love interest) plays an actress and she’s having this really hardcore sex scene that she shoots in the movie and doesn’t tell me about it,” Wahlberg said. “And then I see it in the theatre and I have a big problem with that because I play an ex-cop who’s a private investigator investigating the mayor of New York City. And so obviously I lose that scene but then my compromise was to be nude in the scene by myself after she’s gone. I still had to be butt naked for six hours but it wasn’t with somebody else!”

How did Mark Wahlberg meet his wife Rhea Durham

According to People, he met his wife, model Rhea Durham, while promoting a movie.

“We met in New York City, while I was doing a press junket. I asked her if she wanted to come out with me, and she said yes. Then I asked her if she wanted to come to church with me the next morning, and she said yes again. So that was our first date: St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York,” Wahlberg said.

Mark Wahlberg confided that shortly after the first date, he knew that Durham was the one. The two have been married since 2009, and they’ve been together ever since.