Mark Wahlberg Reflects on His Mother Alma’s Death While Filming ‘Father Stu’

by Taylor Cunningham
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Next month will mark a year since Mark Wahlberg’s mother, Alma, passed away. And in a recent interview, the Oscar nominee remembered navigating through his grief while filming a movie about faith and resilience.

Alma died on May 6, 2021, after suffering from dementia. She was 78 years old.

“It was tough,” the actor shared with Extra on Monday (April 5). “She was very sick, went home to visit her… say goodbye… FaceTiming constantly… We knew that it was inevitable. I just tried to hold on and be as positive as possible.”

The movie is his upcoming release, Father Stu. It follows the true story of Father Stuart Long, a former boxer who suffered from a degenerative muscle disease and found solace in religion and helping others find hope. Stuart Long passed away in 2014 at the age of 50.

Leaning on god was something that Mark and Father Stu had in common at the time of filming. And Wahlberg found inspiration from his character while mourning his mother.

“The reason why he was so effective was because he was authentic,” he explained. “He was speaking the truth from experience. And that’s invaluable… He’s such a remarkable man. It was an honor for me to portray him in the film and to tell his story.”

So the actor threw himself into the role to ensure he did justice to the memory of the father. To prepare himself, he even survived on bacon, baked potatoes, eggs, and steaks in order to gain 40 pounds. And to really amp to the caloric intact, he chased it all with cups of olive oil.

During his first two weeks on the new diet, he ate 7,000 calories a day. And for the last month, he upped it to 11,000 a day.

Mark Wahlberg Says ‘People Need to Have Faith’

But it was all worth it. Because as he told Fox Nation, people need to hear Father Stu’s story and learn from his choices.

“People need to have faith and hope,” Wahlberg said. “I just knew that I needed to make this movie. And this was my calling and this was my mission. And, now, it’s needed more than ever.”

Wahlberg, who also served as a producer for the film, hopes that the movie will “help a lot of people.” And he admitted that learning about Stu was a “turning point” for him.

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

And by doing so, Mark Wahlberg will continue to make Alma proud.

“[My mom] was an amazing person,” he said. “She taught us all through all the difficulties that we had and faced… She was very proud that we turned our lives around.”

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