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Mark Wahlberg’s mantra: Make sure they payin’ you, bro

Actor Mark Wahlberg
AFP/Getty Images
Actor Mark Wahlberg

Anyone who read “Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs” by former MTV VJ Dave Holmes knows Mark Wahlberg doesn’t work for free.

So the news that Marky Mark was paid exponentially more than actress Michelle Williams to reshoot scenes for director Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” doesn’t come as a complete surprise. (In case you missed it, USA Today reported that Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million to reshoot scenes in the wake of the Kevin Spacey sexual-assault scandal, while Williams earned less than $1,000 for her reshoots.)

Wahlberg’s hardscrabble upbringing is well known — he grew up in Dorchester without a lot of dough — and it’s possible that backstory sharpened his negotiating skills. In Holmes’s funny memoir, he writes about his occasional encounters with Wahlberg at the MTV studios between, say, 1999 and 2001.

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Wednesday, Holmes tweeted the anecdote:

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“I cannot claim to know Mark Wahlberg well, but he would come around the studio a lot, and if we passed each other in the halls, he would pull me aside for a private moment and say: ‘They payin’ you yet, bro?’ I would assure him that they were payin’ me, and he would say: ‘Good. You got to make sure they payin’ you, bro.’ I would say: ‘Yeah. Yeah, no, I will,’ and we would go our separate ways, and then the process would repeat itself three months later when he had something else to promote. I have no idea where he got the idea that I was volunteering at MTV — that I carried myself like someone who absolutely would have worked for free probably had something to do with it — but his concern warmed my heart. Much later, three or four years after I’d left MTV and moved to Los Angeles, I ran into him at Saturday evening Mass, and at the sign of Peace, he leaned into me and whispered: ‘Yo, they payin’ you yet, bro?’ It’s possible that this is just a thing he says to everyone.”

Apparently not Michelle Williams.