Mark Wahlberg has long championed his Catholic beliefs, and he told “Today” in a recent interview that Hollywood’s disregard for religion won’t stop him from sharing the value of faith. The Oscar nominee said that he needed “discipline” when he made the career jump from music to movies, and faith was one of the best ways to achieve it.
“That discipline has afforded me so many other things,” Wahlberg said. “I want to share that with people. So whether that’s with fasting, working out more, detaching from other things, and just spending more time with God in prayer or in thoughtful reflection and those things are important.”
“[Faith] is everything, it’s afforded me so many things,” Wahlberg continued. “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.”
Wahlberg said “it’s a balance” when it comes to being a professional actor and also championing and spreading faith.
“I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith,” Wahlberg said. “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’s faith has often guided his acting career. He once infamously shared regret over his breakout role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” as playing a porn star was not in line with his religious values. Wahlberg also spent “millions and millions” of his own money to get his 2022 religious drama “Father Stu” made. The drama tells the true story of Stuart Long, an amateur boxer who becomes a Catholic priest while suffering from inclusion body myositis
“I slipped the script to a couple of people that I thought maybe would get it, and they didn’t,” Wahlberg told Insider last year, alluding to Hollywood’s apprehension over faith-based material. “And obviously, it’s subjective. You have your own feeling of what the material is. Some people thought it was depressing because he’s sick at the end. They didn’t see the heart and the emotion and, ultimately, how inspiring it is.”
“Let’s just say I put millions and millions of dollars into the film — and then incurring other costs because we went over schedule in production,” Wahlberg added.
Wahlberg’s upcoming projects include “Arthur the King” with Simu Liu and “Our Man from Jersey” with Halle Berry.