Mark Wahlberg is standing his holy ground.
The “Father Stu” actor reflected on the role religion has played in his life, particularly as a Catholic in Hollywood. “[Faith] is everything, it’s afforded me so many things,” Wahlberg said during the “Today” show (via Fox News). “God didn’t come to save the saints. He came to save the sinners…We want to be better versions of ourselves, and through focusing my faith, it’s allowed me to do that.”
He continued, “It’s a balance. I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin. You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people. I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so you know, it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
Wahlberg credited the faith-based approach to discipline with framing his own career.
“Once I started getting into movies and transitioned from music, I realized I needed a lot of discipline in my life,” he said. “And that discipline has afforded me so many other things. I want to share that with people. So whether that’s with fasting, detaching from other things, and just spending more time with God in prayer or in thoughtful reflection and those things are important.”
Wahlberg discussed fasting for Lent with the help of prayer app Hallow, on which he is a guest narrator.
“God knows the things that He wants you to detach from,” the “Transformers” star said. “We all know those things that make us feel guilty, don’t make us feel as good as we should. So being able to detach from those things and focus on good habits as opposed to bad habits is just challenging people to be better versions of themselves.”
Wahlberg previously reflected on his own career choices, particularly with porn industry epic “Boogie Nights,” in terms of his religion.
“I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I’ve made some poor choices in my past,” Wahlberg said in 2017. “‘Boogie Nights’ is up there at the top of the list.”
In 2022, Wahlberg explained he is looking to only take on projects that have a “real substance and can help people,” like the “Father Stu” biopic.
“I definitely want to focus on making more, I wouldn’t say necessarily just faith-based content, but things that will help people,” the star said. “Hopefully this movie will open a door for not only myself but for lots of other people in Hollywood to make more meaningful content.”