Despite the fact that Mark Wahlberg reportedly lost a staggering 60 pounds for his role in the new film, The Gambler, he could gain a few back in the shape of a golden statue if the Oscar rumour mills are anything to go by.

The Gambler
Mark Wahlberg is The Gambler

His new film, due out on December, 19, is directed by Rupert Wyatt who oversaw the reboot of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Wyatt, in turn, is dealing with a script written by William Monahan, who penned the Academy Award winning, The Departed.

Based on the 1974 film of the same name, The Gambler is Mark Wahlberg himself as an English professor by day and a high-stakes gambler by night.

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His character, Jim Bennett, feeds off the idea of risk taking but takes one step too far as he starts to play both sides and begins to immerse himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank, a loan shark with an unnerving paternal interest in Bennett’s future.

Leaving a dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother in one corner, Bennett falls into a deeper partnership with one of his students and soon realises that he must take the ultimate risk for a second chance.

For audiences, Wahlberg’s weight loss and gambling character traits may be his biggest achievement in the film but for Wahlberg, becoming a teacher was the hardest part to master.

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He told USA Today: "Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words...Comments we’ve been getting from the test screenings include, ‘I never thought I would see Mark Wahlberg as a professor, but I believed it and went along for the ride.’

"Hearing that it on one of my big reasons for doing this part. It’s different and unexpected."

To view the trailer, click here.