Mark Wahlberg has no qualms with talking about fatherhood, celebrating his dad-bod or even drawing on his real-life parenting experiences to make comedy gold in his movies. While filming the drama-comedy Instant Family, which is now available on digital and will be on DVD and Blu-ray March 5, Wahlberg discovered certain scenes felt unpleasantly familiar.
In Instant Family, Wahlberg’s character, Pete and his wife, Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to foster three siblings. It’s a little bit more difficult than they had foreseen. The eldest of the bunch, Lizzy (Isabela Moner), is 15 years old and used to caring for her younger siblings. Her birth mother struggles with addiction and is in-and-out of prison, so Lizzy had to step in to essentially raise her younger brother and sister. Accustomed to her independence and deeply cynical of the foster system, Lizzy revolts against any attempt by Pete or Ellie to parent her.
On top of this struggle between foster parents and daughter, Lizzy is a teenage girl. She wants to stay out late with her friends, wear clothes that defy the school dress code and develop crushes on boys who are definitely not good for her. All of this results in screaming matches between Lizzy and Pete, which gave Wahlberg a feeling of deja vu.
“It’s been a weird thing for me, because I have a 14-year-old at home, and there’s a lot going on,” Wahlberg says in a behind-the-scenes interview. “She [Lizzy] sounds like my daughter with the shit that comes out of her mouth, the attitude and the backtalk. So to have this now going with her and the outfits and the whole thing, it’s just way too close to home.”
Raising a teenager is certainly no picnic. Even one of the most famous celebrity dads isn’t safe from the sass or insults.