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Mark Wahlberg reveals why he turned down Ocean’s Eleven

Written by on March 15, 2024

Mark Wahlberg has revealed why he passed on a role in the 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven.

During Thursday’s episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Boogie Nights star explained that he had to say no to Steven Soderberg’s star-studded heist movie because he was already committed to Planet of the Apes and The Truth About Charlie.

“I was asked to do the movie, and what happened was, we asked if they would wait for me. But I had already committed to working with Tim Burton (on Planet of the Apes) and Jonathan Demme (on The Truth About Charlie), and for me, even though those movies did not turn out to be good, those experiences were great,” Wahlberg told host Josh Horowitz. “And you know what? At that point, I was still really trying to grow as an actor.”

Wahlberg admitted he “wasn’t thrilled at the idea” of doing a Planet of the Apes remake but he felt it was worth the risk to work with Burton, and while 2002’s The Truth About Charlie “didn’t turn out good”, he still has fond memories of the production.

“I had one of the great times of my career, my life, you know, off-set,” he continued. “It was really, really a great experience in many ways.”

Circling back to Ocean’s Eleven, he added, “So they didn’t kind of want to wait but I was able to do my own thing with (his 2003 heist remake) The Italian Job, which was good.”

Ocean’s star George Clooney revealed last year that Wahlberg and Johnny Depp turned down the role of Linus, which went to Matt Damon.

“Some very famous people told us to f**k right off,” Clooney said about casting the movie at the 2023 TCM Film Festival. “Mark Wahlberg, Johnny Depp. There were others. They regret it now.”

Ocean’s Eleven spawned two sequels and a spin-off film.

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