Mark Wahlberg plays priest in “Father Stu”: “I've been preparing for this my whole life”

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Mark Wahlberg is known onscreen as an action hero and a comedy star, but the role he says he has been preparing for his whole life is different in nature: a Catholic priest. 

His latest movie, “Father Stu,” tells the true story of Stuart Long, a boxer turned wannabe actor who, after a near-death experience on his motorcycle, converts to Catholicism, and decides to enter the seminary. 

-Your son is about to make a huge mistake.
-I'm going to be priest.
-For Halloween?

On his way to the priesthood, Long wasdiagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease which took his life only seven years after his ordination. 

Wahlberg says that the story reflects his own struggles with faith, and was one of the greatest acting challenges of his career.

Stuart Long, “Father Stu”
As an actor, Stu was such a colorful character, to be able to play somebody who goes from one extreme to the other, physically, spiritually, emotionally, all those things, the journey itself was just of epic proportions. I've been preparing for this my whole life, I just didn't know it would come in the form of making a film about such a remarkable person


The two time Academy-Award nominated actor calls the movie his “passion project,” and says he sees it as an opportunity to share the uplifting stories that are so needed today.

Stuart Long, “Father Stu”
It, like most films to get made, was an uphill battle, and I think you know for me to just cut to the chase and realize the best way to do it without any interruption or interference was just kind of to finance it myself, which was a big step for me, but I really felt like this is what I should be doing, utilizing the platform that I have to tell these really inspiring stories.

Wahlberg began work on the film in 2016, determined to make a movie about faith that could speak to ordinary people about redemption through what he calls “tough grace, and tough mercy.”

Stuart Long, “Father Stu”
I've seen a lot of faith-based movies that I love but they're very safe, and they're kind of preaching to the choir, and we want to convert people and we want to bring people closer to God and closer to each other, and we want people to know that, you know, this is about accepting people no matter what.

“Father Stu” is a gritty depiction of how God's plans aren't always pretty, and is this Hollywood star's way of reminding people that faith comes in all forms.


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