Mark Wahlberg says changing his life was a “very challenging and uphill battle”.

The Hollywood actor has enjoyed huge success over recent years, but only got into movie making after a troubled youth. He was involved with gangs and drugs and spent 45 days in prison for an assault on a Vietnamese man.

In his new movie Broken City he plays a private detective who has a difficult past and the role made him reflect on what he’s been through and the ways people can change.

“There were moments when I knew I needed to get on the right course. Very sobering moments as a 17-year-old adolescent, hearing the jail door slam behind you; that’s a very sobering moment. I had a very specific moment when I knew I needed to change my life, but when you decide to change your life and actually doing it – that becomes a very challenging and uphill battle that you need to take on, on a day to day basis,” he told UK TV show.

Lorraine. “Thankfully, the people that I didn’t look to as being role models were still there. [The man who] ran the boys’ club… the parish priest… those were the heroes I should have been looking to. Unfortunately I was looking to the wrong people for role models and inspiration.”

Mark is happily married to model Rhea Durham and they have four children together. He’s previously admitted he doesn’t know when he will tell the kids about his past, although he does plan to do so.

At the moment he is focused on giving them the best start in life that he can; although he is adamant they won’t have a sense of entitlement.

“It’s the greatest accomplishment of my life. I have the most amazing wife and the most amazing children. But it’s also the most demanding role I’ll ever play – a husband and father. Between that and work and my faith, I’ve been very blessed,” he said.

“I’d like to give them all the things I didn’t have but I also want to make them understand how they’re going to appreciate that and that a lot of other people aren’t as fortunate as them.”