Mark Wahlberg’s new film is part entertainment, part mission – sharing the age-old truth that no one is beyond redemption. The actor, producer, entrepreneur, and family man felt compelled to put up his own money to tell the heartfelt, inspiring story of Stuart Long, an aspiring boxer turned priest in his latest film set to release on Good Friday 2022, April 15 titled “Father Stu.”
The story follows Stuart Long, an amateur boxer trying to make it big. In order to do so, he moves to Los Angeles, meets a girl who is the Sunday school teacher, tries to impress her, gets in an accident and uses his second chance to help others, and goes all-in as a Catholic priest.
“God has continued to bless me and put me in this situation not to continue to grow and work on Mark Wahlberg the person, but to do His work and finally, giving me the skills and tools to go out and articulate the message He wants me to articulate,” explained Wahlberg in a recent interview.
Wahlberg’s own personal story relates to the ups and downs of the main character Father Stu. Growing up in Boston, Wahlberg is what you would call today a troubled youth. So much so that between drug use and violence, he found himself in prison at the age of 17.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I have been focused since I was 16, 17 years old to turning my life around and that is a daily task,” Wahlberg shared.
Wahlberg explained that this kind of story isn’t something Hollywood typically funds, but Wahlberg felt so compelled to tell the story, he funded it mostly on his own.
He told the Christian Post, “It’s a different thing when you actually paid for the movie yourself,” he continues. “But the movie was so blessed, and really many times there was a real intercession from some sort of higher power, I would have to say it would be God.”
Though the movie is rated R for vulgarity, the message is clear throughout that true change comes from Christ.
Wahlberg maintained that the movie is about “love, hope and redemption,” showing that “nobody is beyond redemption.”