If his A-list acting career dries up, Mark Wahlberg could find work as a Vegas bartender.
On Friday, the onetime Marky Mark was again slinging shots of his Flecha Azul tequila to select group of fans and media. This appearance was at On The Border Mexican Grille & Cantina in the northwest region of Centennial Hills (or, “Utah,” as us downtowners call the area).
Wahlberg has been on a promotional ground assault with the delicious (from what they tell me) adult beverage. Last Saturday, Wahlberg was the tequila host at the opening of Cathedral at Aria, which combined the finer elements of a restaurant launch and mosh pit.
In a chat before he took position behind the bar, Wahlberg reiterated his affection for his new hometown of Las Vegas. His master plan involves a Vegas premiere of “The Family Plan,” much of which was filmed in and around our city.
Look for the film to bow in Vegas, maybe by the end of this year.
“There’s a big part of the movie is a love letter to Las Vegas, so why wouldn’t we want to premiere here?” Wahlberg said. “So hopefully, I would say either around the holiday season, or no later than the spring, but we’re looking forward to it. It’d be wonderful to have the premiere here. The excitement around events like that in Las Vegas is just another level.”
The film’s story line has an assassin living anonymously as a suburban father, who takes his family on the run when his past finally catches up to him. Simon Cellan Jones (who collaborated with Wahlberg on “Arthur the King” directs and co-stars, along with Michelle Monaghan, Maggie Q, Zoe Colletti, Van Crosby and Ciaran Hinds.
I asked Wahlberg how his “Hollywood 2.0” vision for Las Vegas, and the entire state, was moving forward.
“We’ve had a couple of really productive meetings recently, so so things are moving in the right direction,” he said. “It’s always an uphill battle when you’re trying to get something passed through legislation But in three to five years, we could have up to 10,000 jobs in an industry outside of gaming. We’ll be training locals, hiring locals, encouraging lots of talented people to move here and become full-time residents.”
Wahlberg is in favor of another non-gaming entity moving into Las Vegas, the Oakland Athletics.
”I think it’d be fantastic. I mean, you look at how successful the Knights have been, and the kind of excitement that they’ve drummed up here,” Wahlberg said. “The Raiders have brought excitement. I went to a Raiders game last year, when they beat my Patriots. But it was wonderful to see how excited the fans were, even as they were beating my team.”
The actor-entrepreneur expects the city’s expansion to only continue.
“I think basketball is next, I really do,” Wahlberg said. “It’s like I say, if you want to make a big splash, you’ve got to be in Vegas.”
Cool Hang Alert
“The Olivia Show,” starring Sabrina Plaisance-Sia, makes its Stirling Club at Turnberry Place debut at 7 p.m. Thursday. Fans of Olivia Newton-John, and great music generally, should appreciate this production. Plaiance-Sia delivered a great, and courageous, performance at Summerlin Performing Arts Center just after Newton-John died last August. This show is open to non-members. Go to stirlingclub.com for reservations.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.