Catholic Actor Mark Wahlberg Stars in Biopic of Boxer Turned Priest in Father Stu
Mark Wahlberg has just released the trailer for his first faith-based film about the harrowing life of Father Stuart Long (Father Stu). The film depicts Father Stu’s boxing days, a life-threatening motorcycle accident and his later becoming a Catholic priest.
Father Stu staunchly continued to wear the cloth while suffering from a muscular degenerative disease which would eventually take his life in 2014.
“We want to make sure that this movie is not exclusive to Catholics and devout people,” Mark Wahlberg said. “Many people are having very difficult journeys right now. That’s who we want to touch, that’s who we want to inspire. To be able to overcome, and to be able to persevere.”
An ardent Catholic, Wahlberg has been trying to pay his blessings forward. He is president and founder of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation which has the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth service and enrichment programs. While Wahlberg worked to improve the lives of inner-city and at-risk children, he felt he had a mission to use his talents for God and took on the role of Father Stuart Long for the film.
The project to make the film began in 2016 when Wahlberg was told Father Stu’s story over a meal, and while hesitant at first, the story caught his attention and he decided he needed to make a film of the story. After consulting with co-star and fellow Catholic Mel Gibson, Wahlberg decided to finance the film personally. In the process of making the film, six years in all, Wahlberg went through scripts from several screenwriters before receiving a script from Rosalind Ross. Wahlberg was so impressed by the script he had Ross direct the film, making this her directorial debut. Shooting the entire film was done in only 30 days.
Father Stu is scheduled for release on April 13 and will be in theaters over Easter weekend.