Mark Wahlberg used to choose movie roles that would get him ''respect'' from other guys.

The 'Ted' actor - who was jailed aged 16 for robbing a pharmacy and assaulting a man - previously worried about what people would think of him if he portrayed vulnerable or uncool characters on screen.

He said: ''I grew up in a tough neighbourhood and it's cool if you're playing a tough guy but playing the vulnerable guy or someone who's not so cool, that used to be a concern for me.

''It is no problem playing a bad-ass or a hard guy, I love doing that but I decided I wanted to be an actor. Too often I have wanted approval from my peers back home and respect from guys in general, but to be a good actor you've got to be able to do all kinds of different things and certainly be vulnerable.''

Mark - whose most recent action movie was 'Contraband', a remake of an Icelandish film - thinks it is important to look outside of Hollywood to find interesting roles.

He added to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: ''I just thought that 'Contraband' would be an interesting, fresh spin on the heist thriller. Usually these days you have to go outside Hollywood to find something interesting and different.

''There are a lot of really talented filmmakers and storytellers out there. So for me it was either go and look for interesting material out there, or just do a superhero sequel!''