Veteran Hollywood icon Mark Wahlberg, as he is promoting his new faith-based film “Father Stu,” says he might exit Tinseltown “sooner rather than later” and focus on projects that help people.
Wahlberg is a devout Catholic who is married with four children between 12 and 18 years old. The star, who has over sixty film credits, says he has reached a point where it is increasingly difficult to leave his family at home for projects that stretch out for months.
That home, by the way, is a Beverly Hills estate that Wahlberg just put on the market for $87.5 million.
“Father Stu” is the story of real-life Father Stuart Long, who was an amateur boxer and became infatuated with a Catholic Sunday school teacher named Carmen. He began attending church to get her attention but was then involved in a motorcycle accident.
The combination led to a spiritual awakening for the young man, who recovered from his injuries with a passion for becoming a Catholic priest. Long ultimately joined the priesthood before contracting an incurable muscular disorder. He was 50 when he succumbed to the degenerative disease in 2014.
Wahlberg describes the movie as a “passion project” that heralds a new focus on making more meaningful, though not necessarily faith-based, films. Part of the actor’s new focus may come from the death of his 78-year-old mother, Alma, last May 6 while he was working on “Father Stu.” Wahlberg says the real Stuart Long leaned on God during his struggles, just as he was forced to do with the passing of his mother.
Wahlberg not only produced “Father Stu,” but also financed the film. His movie father is portrayed by Mel Gibson, another Catholic who has endured several real-life spiritual challenges.
Despite his strong beliefs, the actor says he does not want to force his faith onto his children. Instead, they know he starts his day with prayer and scripture reading or attending Mass. This, Wahlberg hopes, will show them that it “works for dad (so) maybe it’ll work for us.” It is both exciting and heartening in 2022 to see an accomplished artist with priorities in the proper places and a zeal to create more uplifting works.