Mark Wahlberg 'tried to bribe' trainer to adopt his dog costar: 'I took a shot'

Wahlberg stars in "Arthur the King" with the dog Ukai. "I was amazed by how close we got," he said.

Sometimes on-screen chemistry leads to real-life relationships. In fact, it happened on the set of the upcoming film Arthur the King, where Mark Wahlberg felt that connection so strongly that he tried to bring his costar home.

Of course, that new friend was a dog named Ukai. "Oh my god, I tried to bribe the trainer to sell me the dog," the Max Payne actor told PEOPLE at a screening and pet adoption event for the new film. "I offered her whatever she would want. But, of course, that bond is not something that you can separate. I just fell in love with him."

Wahlberg stars in Arthur the King as an adventure racer who finds companionship with a stray dog. "I was amazed by how close we got and our connection," Wahlberg said. "So, of course, I wanted him."

<p>Everett Collection</p> Ukai and Mark Wahlberg in 'Arthur the King'

Everett Collection

Ukai and Mark Wahlberg in 'Arthur the King'

The love for Ukai was felt throughout the Wahlberg household. The actor told PEOPLE that his four children "wanted me to bring him home" as well.

"But I completely understood," he said. "I took a shot."

The film is based on the true story of extreme athlete and author Mikael Lindnord, who built a relationship with a dog named Arthur during an adventure race in Ecuador. The author chronicled the experience in his 2016 book, Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home.

Wahlberg plays a fictionalized version of Lindnord in the movie. However, the relationship between him and Ukai clearly continued off-screen. Wahlberg and Ukai recently appeared in a PSA about the importance of pet adoption.

Arthur the King arrives in theaters on Mar. 15.

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