Actor Mark Wahlberg, right, rides a moped with Gabriella Papale, daughter of Vince Papale, on the football field at Texas Stadium during a break in the filming a scene of a 1976 football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagle for the motion picture titled Invincible in Irving, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 19 , 2005. In the film based on a true story, Wahlberg plays Vince Papale an Eagle's fan with no organized football experience that answered a open tryout call and won a roster spot. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A clip has been making the rounds of actor Mark Wahlberg claiming “honorary Philadelphian” status, drawing raised eyebrows from some Philly residents.

Believe it or not, this isn’t something Wahlberg made up. It’s an actual title Philly officials bestowed upon the Boston native a decade ago. Wahlberg has called the honor “one of the proudest moments” of his career.

Wahlberg’s job has brought him to Philly a number of times, not even including that time he introduced the pope on stage. He’s starred in several movies filmed in and near the City of Brotherly Love, including “The Italian Job,” “Shooter,” “The Happening,” and “The Lovely Bones.”

Most importantly, he played the leading role in Disney’s “Invincible,” a 2006 biopic about Eagles wide receiver Vince Papale that was filmed at Penn’s Franklin Field. (Apparently, the actor and the football player have stayed close with each other.)

A video posted to Instagram user @jpisanel’s stories on Monday shows Wahlberg behind a bar somewhere last Sunday, being asked for his prediction on the Eagles’ season opener against the New England Patriots.

“What do ya got for the score today?” an off-camera voice teases. “Birds 24, Patriots 10?”

Wahlberg scoffs, but then launches into a fuller reply. “Listen, I swear to god, I know how Philly is after playing Vince Papale in the movie,” he says. “I got a lot of love for Philly. I filmed five movies in Philly. I got named an honorary Philadelphian. They hate everybody there … the only time I was ok with the Patriots losing the Super Bowl was to the Eagles.”

Local sports blog Crossing Broad embraced Wahlberg’s claim, but it didn’t take long for other Philadelphians to question it. 

“Wayyyy down the list of possible honorary Philadelphians,” one person wrote on Twitter. “In what world is that a real thing,” someone else tweeted

Apparently, this world. 

Back in 2013, Wahlberg was considered to be the actor who’d shot the most films in Philadelphia, so at a screening of “Broken City” (which was not filmed in Philly) at the Prince Theater in Center City, then-Mayor Michael Nutter and Greater Philadelphia Film Office executive director Sharon Pinkenson proclaimed Wahlberg an “honorary citizen.”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience many honors in my career … but I’ll tell you, the most important honor that I’ve had — that I’ve earned, the hard way — is becoming an honorary Philadelphian,” Wahlberg said when accepting the title. “They don’t give that shit out for free. You gotta earn that, you gotta deserve it from the people.”

He went on to diss his native land. “The love that I’ve felt in this city, that my family’s felt in this city — if I felt that kind of love in Boston, which is my own hometown, that I felt in Philadelphia, I’d go there more.”

YouTube video

Nutter and the film office weren’t the first to refer to the actor and former rapper as an honorary Philly man. 

In 2008, an Inquirer columnist wrote a piece called “Mark Wahlberg: Honorary Philadelphian.” The column quoted Wahlberg as saying he felt “very at home here” and sharing that his son was conceived in a Rittenhouse Square hotel.

A devout Catholic who apparently attends church at St. Patrick’s at 20th and Rittenhouse Square when he’s in town, Wahlberg was selected in 2015 to emcee The Festival of Families, a Benjamin Franklin Parkway concert to honor Pope Francis during his visit to Philly.

There, Wahlberg jokingly asked the pope for forgiveness after a 14-year-old performer told him he enjoyed the movie “Ted,” an R-rated film he starred in. He also dropped a “Go Eagles” in his introduction of former Eagles running back Herb Lusk, who was about to read from scripture. C’mon, Mark: Go Birds.

Asha Prihar is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She has previously written for several daily newspapers across the Midwest, and she covered Pennsylvania state government and politics for The...