Changing their bodies for their roles is something many actors and actresses have done over the years. You can count “Blue Bloods” star Donnie Wahlberg on that list.
According to what he told Fox News during a 2019 interview, it was not a pleasant experience at all. Not pleasant is a bit of an understatement, actually. Wahlberg said he “had to suffer” for the part.
So, what role made the future “Blue Bloods” star go through such challenges? It was for a role in the 1999 thriller “The Sixth Sense.” It’s a film famous for its surprising twist at the end. Leading the way was director M. Night Shyamalan. The film starred Bruce Willis as the psychiatrist Dr. Malcolm Crowe who was helping a young boy. That boy was played by Haley Joel Osment. If you’ve seen the film you probably remember him telling Willis, “I see dead people.”
It was a creepy – and very successful – film.
Donnie Wahlberg didn’t have the most screen time in the movie. However, his character, Vincent Gray, had a major impact on the story. Gray was once a patient of Crowe’s. In a very upsetting scene from the film, Gray breaks into Crowe’s home and shoots him. Gray then commits suicide.
If you remember Gray from the film, you will recall him as very, very skinny, and sickly looking. In order to portray the character, the “Blue Bloods” actor had to go through a lot – both physically and mentally.
Future ‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Changed So Much for Film Role That People Didn’t Recognize Him
Donnie Wahlberg was 28 years old when he appeared in “The Sixth Sense.” His physical transformation was so extreme, that many people did not know it was him who played Vincent Gray. He once talked about that with USA Today.
“This was a game-changer for me. Every day for years people would say, ‘Dude, I didn’t know that was you,'” Wahlberg said. “At that time, I did exactly what I needed to do for the role. I had to look like I was going through hell. I went to a really dark place.”
Getting to that dark place meant the “Blue Bloods” star “had to suffer.”
“I starved myself. … would fast for two days, then only eat steamed cabbage and drink beet juice,” he recalled. “I would chew gum all day and I would literally walk around the streets to burn thousands of calories.”
That wasn’t all Donnie Wahlberg went through for his role in “The Sixth Sense. “
“I didn’t shower for weeks,” he also said. “I just wasn’t taking care of myself and I was a loner. That was as close as I could come to this guy. I definitely had to suffer in the only way I could.”
In total, the actor lost 43 pounds for the role. And, it’s a role he is proud to have played.
“The movie is such a great source of pride for me,” Wahlberg said. “Not just my work but to be part of that group. Everyone brought it so hard for that movie.”