Mark Wahlberg Opens Up About Aspect of ‘Father Stu’ Role That ‘Really Took a Toll’ on Him

by Megan Molseed

Actor Mark Wahlberg knew he was gearing up for an intense role when he set out to portray Stuart Long, an amateur boxer who found his calling to become a priest in the upcoming biopic, Father Stu. In the film, Wahlberg portrays the real-life man as he decides to become a priest after dealing with a troubled past. As his life is changing to serve god, Long learns he is suffering from an incurable degenerative muscular disease.

Some big topics to address in the film, no doubt. However, according to a recent interview with Mark Wahlberg, the most difficult part about the role had less to do with Father Stu’s story, and more to do with simple – or not so simple – logistics. The part that really “took a toll” on the actor while filming the biopic was gaining quite a few pounds for the role.

“I put on 30 pounds,” Mark Wahlberg says of his role in the biopic. “And went from being a guy who was in fighting shape to a guy who was wheelchair-bound, suffering from a rare muscular generative disease,” the Patriots Day star says.

Mark Wahlberg Remembers How Gaining Weight While Filming ‘Father Stu’ Really ‘Took a Toll’

In the film, Mark Wahlberg’s character starts out extremely physically fit. A man who regularly works out in the boxing ring. However, as the biopic continues, Father Stu learns of his degenerative disease which ultimately slows the man down physically. A change Wahlberg felt was important to depict accurately in the film. And, the actor adds, his age at the time didn’t make this any easier.

“I was just turning 50 by the time we finished the movie,” Wahlberg recalls. “And I was eating 11,000 calories a day.”

Wahlberg says he focused on adding the pounds in a “healthy way,” however, the drastic change still took its toll.

“That drastic weight really took a toll on me over the course of the last seven, eight months,” Wahlberg says.

“I tried to do it in a healthy way,” the actor says of the weight shift.

“It was a dozen eggs and a dozen pieces of bacon, two baked potatoes, a Porterhouse steak,” Wahlberg says of his menu.

“Two bowls of white rice, and a glass of olive oil,” the star continues.

“The first two weeks were high proteins,” the actor notes. “The second two weeks were a lot of carbs. The last two weeks starches and then sodium, just to kind of get as bloated as possible.”

Wahlberg Answers His Calling To Bring People ‘Faith And Hope’

For Mark Wahlberg, the Father Stu biopic is an important film the world needs right now. In fact, the actor says, it’s a story that people need now more than ever.

“People need to have faith and hope,” the actor explains.

“I just knew that I needed to make this movie,” he adds. “And this was my calling and this was my mission. And, now, it’s needed more than ever.” And, the actor says, this biopic is a sort of turning point in his life.

“I need to stop focusing so much on Mark,” he explains. “And start doing much more work for God and for less fortunate people.”