Mark Wahlberg Almost Walked From Martin Scorsese Role Over Haircut

Wahlberg and Scorsese had a heated argument over Wahlberg not being willing to cut his hair.

Actors miss out on lots of roles during their careers, but Mark Wahlberg might be the only one who nearly quit over a haircut. During an appearance on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Wahlberg revealed that he almost walked away from his role in Martin Scorsese's The Departed because of a disagreement over his character's hair.

"I was a little pissed about a couple of things," Wahlberg said of working on the 2006 crime thriller. "Originally I was supposed to play another part. We agreed that I would play [Staff Sergeant Sean Dignam] and I saw the advantages of playing that part and how I would approach the situation with everybody playing opposite me."

The Departed stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a Massachusetts State Police officer who is recruited for an undercover assignment infiltrating a Boston crime syndicate. Whalberg's character is a fellow officer working the case. Additional stars include Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin.

Wahlberg went on to to explain that he had some other roles lined up after The Departed, including Invincible, a sports biopic about Vince Papale, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976 to 1978. "I was only supposed to do a couple of weeks on The Departed so I was able to grow my hair for Invincible," Wahlberg said. "But then the schedule changed, and four months later, I'm still working on The Departed, so I wouldn't cut my hair..."

This "pissed off" Scorsese, Wahlberg says. "He was like, 'You've got to cut your f—ing hair,' and I was, 'I don't give a f—.'" Eventually, the pair settled their disagreement and the film was completed. "I understand where Marty was coming from," Wahlberg confessed. "He had to deal with Jack, he had to deal with Matt and Leo and everything — the studio and everyone else that was in the cast."

In hindsight, Wahlberg is glad that he took the role and kept it, as The Departed was a massive success, earning nearly $300 million at the box office and garnering several Oscar awards, including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Wahlberg. "We had a couple of issues, but ultimately, when I read that particular role, I was like, 'OK, this is a good role. This is an opportunity for me to really kind of go off and have some fun,'" he recalled.