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Oscar Time for The Fighter's producer-star Mark Wahlberg

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   The Fighter has been nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for David O. Russell, Supporting Actor for Christian Bale, and nods to Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, both up for Supporting Actress. But none for the tenacious actor  who was the force behind getting this passion-project made-- Mark Wahlberg.
   The star of The Fighter, Wahlberg has been saying in interviews that his prize is seeing the movie get made after more than six years shepherding the project. But he might take home an Oscar, with fellow producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, if it wins Best Picture.
   The true drama is about boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, whose struggle in the ring is matched by the battles with his family as he pursues a title fight. It takes place on the outskirts of Boston, on the working class mean streets where both Ward and Wahlberg grew up.
   Filmed on actual locations in Lowell, Massachusetts, boxing scenes were shot at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. And Ward's actual training facilities were used, Ramalho West End Gym. Also lending authenticity to the look of the film, they used cameras from the era.
   Director Russell had worked with Wahlberg on two other movies, Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees, which was helpful during the filming process. Russell reported, "There's nothing better than having a collaborator that you have a great shorthand with, and he's shepherding the project along. "

   Russell said Mark inhabited Micky. He moved like him, dressed like him, and got his style of fighting down perfectly. Wahlberg trained for more than four years to get in shape so the fight scenes would be real. No stunt double was used in the ring.
   The reason the former '90s rapper know as Marky Mark really understood the role and fought so hard for the film was that it reflected his own struggles growing up. Wahlberg has since gone on to produce quality film and TV projects (he's executive producer of HBO's Entourage and Boardwalk Empire).
   The Fighter has also been nominated for Writing, Original Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson, with Story by Keith Dorrington, Tamasy, and Johnson. Also nominated is Pamela Martin for Film Editing.
   The Fighter is up against heavy favorites, The King's Speech and The Social Network, for Best Picture. But it's a movie that doesn't shy away from a good fight.
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Guest Saturday, 26 July 2014
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