Wahlberg’s only Oscar-nominated performance was that of Sergeant Dignam — a man co-charged with running an undercover mob unit. Wahlberg played Dignam with his classic tough guy bravado while blending real, raw emotion into his character. Dignam uses antagonization and berating to get Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to become an undercover cop. Dignam’s clashes with several characters (save for Martin Sheen’s Queenan) show Wahlberg’s capacity for finding the perfect balance between acting and performance. Wahlberg’s ability to make a supporting character so crucial and memorable in one of the best films ever made is a true testament to his talent.
Short list: 10) The Lovely Bones, 9) Four Brothers, 8) Shooter, 7) Invincible, 6) Three Kings, 5) The Other Guys, 4) The Fighter, 3) Ted, 2) Boogie Nights, 1) The Departed