Mark Wahlberg moved retired boxer MICKEY WARD into his home as he prepared to film the sportsman's life story in upcoming biopic THE FIGHTER.
The Departed star plays the legendary Irishman in the new movie and the pair became close friends after a series of meetings.
Wahlberg decided he could perfect his portrayal of Ward if the fighter gave him one-to-one tuition sessions - and subsequently moved the boxer into his family home.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I became friends with him so it was my obligation to get it done because it was important for him to get the story told and he wanted me to get it done.
"He was really involved in the training aspect. I didn't want to look like an actor who could be believable as a boxer, I wanted to look like a fighter who could win the title of the world. Mickey and his brother literally lived at my house for months at a time while we trained and prepared.
"He was around set a lot but he wasn't nervous about how he would be portrayed. He would come by because he was interested in watching and was very supportive the whole time."