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Mark Wahlberg drives crowd crazy at opening of Atlantic City Wahlburgers

Mark Wahlberg drives crowd crazy at opening of Atlantic City Wahlburgers


ATLANTIC CITY — Hundreds of fans greeted actor and producer Mark Wahlberg as he arrived Friday for the grand opening of his family’s Wahlburgers restaurant at Ocean Casino Resort.

Security had to move people out of the way so he could make it down the hallway and to the front of the restaurant for the ribbon cutting. People jockeyed for position to take photos on their cellphones of the star and onetime rapper.

Ocean has the first Wahlburgers in New Jersey. Wahlberg also was in the resort for the casino’s grand opening nearly a year ago. He said the casino is the nicest in the city.

“People deserve to have something really special here. There are a lot of good, hardworking people here,” Wahlberg said.

Wahlberg said he loves the city’s history. He was one of the executive producers of the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which aired from 2010 to 2014 and was set during the 1920s in the resort.

“I know a lot about that era,” he said.

Because of Wahlberg’s starring role in the 2006 movie “Invincible,” in which he played 1970s Philadelphia Eagles football player Vince Papale, the native Bostonian said he is an honorary Philadelphian.

“When I knew the Eagles and the Patriots were going to be in the Super Bowl together (last year), I knew it was going to be a win-win for me,” he said.

Wahlberg, who hosted a fitness class Saturday morning at Ocean, said he did not see a contradiction between being fit and promoting gourmet hamburgers.

“I do not live a boot camp kind of existence. I like to find a balance between eating right, exercising and having a lot of fun,” Wahlberg said. “You can’t not enjoy and indulge.”

Wahlburgers’ Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger, Wahlberg said.

For Wahlberg’s next acting and producing project, he said the screenplay is currently being developed for a movie version of the 1970s TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” which will be called “The Six Billion Dollar Man.”

“The plan is to now shoot the movie in spring, early summer of next year,” said Wahlberg, who added with all the superhero movies being made, he hoped to do something grounded and real.

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