Mark Wahlberg on 'Pain & Gain': Actor Used 'Criminal Mentality' and Bulked Up for Role

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(Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)Actor Mark Wahlberg attends the nominees luncheon for the 83rd annual Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California February 7, 2011.

Mark Wahlberg's "Pain & Gain" role required the actor to go through a transformation, gaining pounds of muscle to play the bodybuilding part. In the film, some bodybuilders kidnap one of their clients to get a quick payday, which required Wahlberg as an actor to rely heavily on his criminal past.

Mark Wahlberg spoke about "Pain & Gain," revealing that his own interest in bodybuilding helped fuel the need to become bigger and bulkier to play the part.

"I had a huge preparation," Mark told Access Hollywood during the movie premiere Thursday. "And then also just letting loose, becoming this character. I was always fascinated with the world of bodybuilding."

Wahlberg, a father to four children, said the boys and girls were split as to their father's new muscular look.

"My daughters didn't like it. My sons absolutely loved it," he admitted.

But bodybuilding wasn't the only element to the film. "Pain & Gain" has a strong criminal component to it, even though the characters are inexperienced at kidnapping. Wahlberg had to draw on his own experiences— over 20 run-ins with the Boston police department as a youth, an assault conviction, and 45 days in jail— to make the movie seem more realistic.

When Wahlberg's character kidnaps a client to make quick cash, the actor suggested to director Michael Bay that he put on an accent to disguise his voice. The 41-year-old actor pointed out that robbing someone familiar would pose problems if the mark recognized the voice robbing him. Fortunately, Wahlberg already had a voice picked out— an acquaintance from Panama.

"I've been training [the mark in the movie] for quite some time, so I had to disguise my voice," he told MTV News.

"[My co-stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Anthony Mackie] don't have that criminal mentality like me," Wahlberg continued. "I know how to do s---. I've robbed people in the past, so you can't be just like, 'Hey, dude, what's up? It's me, Mark. Listen— give me your s---!"

For Johnson, his past as a professional wrestler and his parts in movies helped him be prepared to pack on the muscle for the role in advance.

"I was really fortunate because I was coming off of 'G.I. Joe,' I was coming off of 'Fast & Furious' at that time too," he told Access Hollywood. "A lot of those projects supported and fostered the type of training I was doing."

"The biggest departure was the vulnerability … and playing a character who is easily influenced and who's just out of prison and looking for salvation," Johnson explained.

"Pain & Gain" will hit theaters April 26.