Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods’ Donnie Wahlberg Almost Starved Himself For This $672M Bruce Willis Movie

When watching The Sixth Sense, you likely didn’t even recognize Donnie Wahlberg, our favorite Danny Reagan from Blue Bloods. But he was there, and he was in a really dark place because of his role in this movie.

To get a role in the cult classic The Sixth Sense, Donnie Wahlberg went the extra mile in all departments.

First, he had a tough time convincing the movie’s director, M. Night Shyamalan, that he could pull it off. Donnie was too old for his character, so he told Shyamalan he’d play Vincent Gray for free if that helped him book the role.

Second, after Shyamalan believed in Donnie and cast him, he put himself through hell to get it to perfection. You may think, “Don’t actors do that all the time?” — and you’d be correct.

But how many actors put themselves through weeks of physical and psychological torture for just a three-minute scene in a movie? Yeah, thought so.

In The Sixth Sense, Donnie played Vincent Gray, a former mental patient struggling with his inner demons for the majority of his life.

He blames his former psychiatrist — Bruce Willis’s Dr. Crowe — for failing him as a kid and ruining his life. After finally breaking, Vincent kills Dr. Crowe and then shoots himself, too… All in the span of three minutes.

Despite how short this scene was, it was also vital for the movie, and Donnie took his character very seriously.

To play this depressed and desperate man and show the true darkness of Vincent Gray’s disturbed mind, Wahlberg took himself on a weeks-long journey of the most unpleasant type: he became Vincent Gray himself.

Donnie was too enthusiastic and full of life, so he took himself down the path of depression. He was in too good of a shape, constantly working out — so he starved himself and lost 43 lbs.


He left his wife and kids and locked himself in a tiny dirty apartment with no money or means of communication with the outer world.

“I starved myself. I would fast for two days then only eat steamed cabbage and drink beet juice. I would chew gum all day and I would literally walk around the streets to burn thousands of calories. I didn’t shower for weeks. <…> I was so hungry. I was depressed. I cut off my life to get ready for the role,” revealed Donnie twenty years later.
Donnie Wahlberg’s weeks-long torture turned out really efficient. When he came to the set, even Shyamalan failed to recognize the actor and walked right past him.

According to Donnie, even after the movie’s release, no one realized he played Vincent Gray — and that really shows the power of his transformation.

“Every day for years people would say, ‘Dude, I didn’t know that was you,'” shared Donnie.

If you watched The Sixth Sense and Blue Bloods, this is definitely a hell of a revelation: both Danny Reagan and Vincent Gray were played by the same man.

Apart from the freakishly-Bale vibes of Wahlberg’s dark journey, it’s a great example of how a talented and dedicated actor can leave a massive impact…

Even if they only have three minutes of screen time to do so.


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