When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced last week that they planned to shorten the Oscars ceremony and add an award for outstanding achievement in popular film, it was met with a mixed response. Some were thrilled at the idea of Batman tripping up to the stage, grasping his Oscar, and growling, “You like me, you really like me.” But most weren’t. However, Mark Wahlberg is super-psyched about it.
Variety caught up with Marky last Thursday at the premiere of his latest film, Mile 22 (I checked, and thank god it’s not Marky Mark’s attempt at a gritty 8 Mile biopic). He’s been nominated for two Academy Awards – Best Supporting Actor for The Departed, and Best Picture for The Fighter (which he produced). They asked Mark how he felt about the new category, and he joked that if it had been around before, “Maybe…we’d have won a couple of them.” But then he got serious, and let it be known he thinks it’s a great idea.
“We’ve had some really commercially successful films that we think certainly warranted that kind of notoriety. We make films that we want people to enjoy and if we get those kind of accolades, fantastic. If not, we make the movies for audiences to enjoy. There are a lot of great films out there that happen to be very popular and haven’t been recognized that probably deserve the recognition.”
Marky Mark has been in a number of commercially successful films, and he’s probably picturing that the Academy would honor something like Transformers: Age of Extinction or Ted with a nomination. But we still don’t know what the Academy means when they say it’s an award for “outstanding achievement.” Is it box office dollars? How convincing your talking bear is? The number of franchise-branded lunchboxes you see at Walmart? I need to know, just to prepare myself for the possibility of one day hearing the words “Academy Award-winner Mark Wahlberg.”