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Golden Globes nominations: Mark Wahlberg on 'The Fighter'

December 14, 2010 |  9:35 am

The third time was a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director David O. Russell: "The Fighter," their third film together after "Three Kings" and "I Heart Huckabees," grabbed six Golden Globe nominations including best picture (drama), best director and best actor (drama) for Wahlberg.

"Itís such an exciting thing," Wahlberg said early Tuesday morning, whispering so as not to wake up his sleeping daughter. "We just tried so hard to get this movie made. We fought tooth and nail, and to have this kind of reactionóI always thought it could be special. ... To have all of our cast members recognized in every category and David O. Russell, a friend and longtime collaborator, itís awesome."

"The Fighter" is the true story of the welterweight boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg), his half-brother Dicky Eklund, a boxing prospect turned crack addict ( Christian Bale), and a colorful group of friends and family in a working-class Lowell, Mass., neighborhood not far from where Wahlberg himself grew up.

Wahlberg fielded congratulatory calls in Los Angeles but said the real joy was in Lowell. He said he had already talked to the real Micky Ward.

"I called him. He was excited," Wahlberg said. "He didnít know. I told him, ĎPlease mention to your mom and your brother how special this is and how grateful we are.í  ... I want as many people as possible to know this family and change the perception of Lowell. Lowell is a town full of prideful people."

Wahlberg said he thought the film resonated with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. because "I just felt like they understood it was very close to being real. You felt like you were watching a documentary about these people as opposed to a film about their lives."

Nevertheless, he says he's not even thinking yet about the Academy Awards.  "You donít think about that. Iím looking to Christmas with the kids."

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Mark Wahlberg, left, and director David O. Russell are shown on the set of "The Fighter." Credit: JoJo Whilden / Paramount Pictures/Associated Press