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Mark Wahlberg Says Nevada Is ‘a Place Where My Kids Can Thrive’ 2 Years After California Move (Exclusive)

The actor tells PEOPLE the move has allowed his four children to "do their thing and pursue their interests"

<p>Instagram/Rhea Wahlberg</p> Mark Wahlberg, wife Rhea Durham and their four kids

Instagram/Rhea Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg, wife Rhea Durham and their four kids

Mark Wahlberg and his family are loving life in Nevada!

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE for this week's issue, the Arthur the King star shares that he, wife Rhea Durham and their four kids are happily settled in Las Vegas following their big move from California in 2022.

"It's a place where my kids can thrive and do their thing and pursue their interests," the actor, 52, says of the family's new home base.

Wahlberg and Durham — who married in August 2009 — share daughters Ella, 20, and Grace, 14, and sons Michael, 17, and Brendan, 15.

John Shearer/WireImage Mark Wahlberg, wife Rhea Durham and their four children
John Shearer/WireImage Mark Wahlberg, wife Rhea Durham and their four children

Related: Why Stars Like Mark Wahlberg Are Leaving Hollywood for ‘the Beverly Hills of Las Vegas’ (Exclusive)

When the Father Stu star first revealed in fall 2022 that his family had left California, he shared his vision of building a studio and turning Las Vegas into "Hollywood 2.0."

"After this gubernatorial election, hopefully we go to legislation and get a bill passed so we can get tax credits for the state, build a state-of-the-art studio here and make this Hollywood 2.0," he said on The Talk at the time.

"I want to be able to work from home," the star added.

Wahlberg went on to explain that he had "only made a couple of movies in the entire time" that he lived in California.

"So to be able to give my kids a better life and follow and pursue their dreams — whether it be my daughter as an equestrian, my son as a basketball player, my younger son as a golfer — this made a lot more sense for us," he continued.

<p>Mark Wahlberg/Instagram</p> Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg/Instagram

Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg

Wahlberg also said he and Durham, 45, saw the move to Nevada as an opportunity to "give ourselves a new look, a fresh start for the kids," adding, "I'm really excited about the future."

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In an update to PEOPLE one year after the relocation, the actor said his family was happy and thriving in their new digs. "Everybody's adapted nicely. The kids are all out at school, and everybody's happy," he shared.

Related: Mark Wahlberg Bonds with a Stray Dog Under Extreme Circumstances in Arthur the King Trailer (Exclusive)

The move certainly hasn't crimped Wahlberg's acting career. Following last year's The Family Plan, Wahlberg's latest role in Arthur the King finds him sharing the screen with a four-legged star.

In the film — based on Mikael Lindnord's 2017 book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home — Wahlberg plays an athlete who keeps encountering a stray dog while taking part in a grueling endurance race through the Dominican Republic.

He and his teammates end up taking in the determined canine, whom they name Arthur the King, and making him their mascot.

<p>Carlos Rodriguez/Courtesy of Lionsgate</p> Mark Wahlberg and his canine costar in 'Arthur the King'

Carlos Rodriguez/Courtesy of Lionsgate

Mark Wahlberg and his canine costar in 'Arthur the King'

Wahlberg tells PEOPLE he and the pup bonded while filming — though the star had to resort to a bit of "bribery" at first to win over the animal.

"He actually was my neighbor in the Dominican Republic, and so he would, when his trainer would let him out of the house, I would whistle to him and he would run ahead of her," he says of the dog. "And by the time she got over to the house, he had already had a couple steaks and a couple of pieces of chicken and we became fast friends."

Arthur the King is in theaters now. For more on Mark Wahlberg, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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