Mark Wahlberg Bulks Up After Dropping to Just 137 Lbs. for Film Role

Mark Wahlberg

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

updated 03/25/2014 AT 10:00 AM ET

originally published 03/25/2014 AT 10:40 AM ET

Mark Wahlberg is transforming back into the man he likes to be.

The celebrated actor lost 60 lbs. for his recent role in The Gambler – shrinking down to a mere 137 lbs. and looking nearly unrecognizable in photos – but he is bulking up again and nearly back to his comfortable weight.

“It’s a lot easier to put it on than it is to lose it,” he told PEOPLE Monday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas while promoting Transformers: Age of Extinction. “It’s just part of the job. I make sure I take all the right steps, take all the right nutrition, all the right exercise, being monitored by doctors. I’m trying to do it in the safest way possible.”

Mark Wahlberg in February

Pedro Andrade/Pacific Coast News
Having dropped from 197 to 137 lbs., the Bostonian who got his start as rapper Marky Mark said he’s up to 176 lbs. now – and still has work to do.

“I want a little bit more,” he said. “I like to walk around at 190 I like to eat though.”

Aside from a comfortable weight, the father of four said one of the reasons he took on the Transformers project is for his children.

“I haven’t really done anything that was kid friendly.” he said. “That s not the only reason. I don’t make decisions that way. It was really the best of both worlds, because it was something they’d be interested in and something I hadn’t done before.”

Mark Wahlberg’s Changing Looks

This object displays a Brightcove video

From Our Partners