Mark Wahlberg is a chance-taker; one of his biggest is 'The Gambler'

November 14, 2014 1:04 PM

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In 2003, Mark Wahlberg walked into the Santa Monica offices of HBO with an idea for a series. He'd already had acclaimed turns in admired movies - "Boogie Nights," "The Basketball Diaries," "Three Kings" - but hadn't broken through as a leading man.

Yet that day, Wahlberg and his longtime manager - a tough-minded negotiator with an anxious streak named Stephen Levinson, whom everyone calls Lev - had an idea that went beyond acting. They wanted to produce a show based on Wahlberg's life. The actor wouldn't star in it - that would tax the meta-o-...

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