Mark Wahlberg Says People Pestering Him With Movie Ideas Forced Him To Switch Churches

Mark Wahlberg
Wikimedia Commons | Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Best known for his action/comedy roles — if not for his days in front of the Funky Bunch — Mark Walhberg's second act as a faith-based filmmaker appears to be well and truly underway. He just wishes people would let him worship in peace.

The actor gave a revealing interview to Insider to mark the release of his new film, Father Stu.

Wahlberg says he was getting bugged at church.

A Catholic church
Unsplash | Reinaldo Kevin

Wahlberg, a devout Catholic who often attends Sunday Mass, told Insider that he started to get sick of having people pitch movie ideas to him at church.

"I mean, I would literally move around from church to church because I would get pitched a lot," he explained.

One of those pitches was a good one.

Mark Wahlberg
Wikimedia Commons | U.S. Marine Corps photo by Kathy Reesey

"I'm not at church looking to find material," Wahlberg said. "I'm trying to find some peace and quiet to be able to worship."

Wahlberg must have thanked his lucky stars, though, when he actually found some material at church. Now he's turning it into a movie.

A priest pitched the idea of making a movie about Father Stuart Long.

Movie poster for 'Father Stu'
IMDB | Columbia Pictures

Long, a boxer-turned-Catholic priest, passed away back in 2014. After his boxing career ended, he had a religious conversion and became ordained as a priest in 2007.

Wahlberg's biopic of Long, called Father Stu, had its premiere on April 5th and was released on April 13th. Long died at the age of 50 after contracting inclusion body myositis, a debilitating condition similar to Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"Wow, I have been looking for something like this."

Mel Gibson in 'Father Stu'
IMDB | Columbia Pictures

Wahlberg says he was immediately sold on the idea for the movie. He bankrolled the film with "millions and millions" of his own money, though he wouldn't specify just how much. Then he tapped Mel Gibson, no stranger to faith-based filmmaking, to co-star in the movie.

It's a different side of Mark Wahlberg.

Mark Wahlberg in 'Father Stu'
IMDB | Columbia Pictures

While he often plays a foul-mouthed Bostonian with anger issues, in Father Stu, he'll play an unconventional priest. Wahlberg gained 30 pounds for the role.

"It's a fantastic role, a powerful and inspiring story. It felt different and original to get people's attention," he said.

Reviews so far are mixed.

Still from 'Father Stu'
IMDB | Columbia Pictures

"Mark Wahlberg is hard-working but miscast in Father Stu, an issue compounded by the way the movie fumbles its fact-based story," concludes the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes. Right now the review aggregator gives the film a 41%, or mixed, critical consensus. The audience score is a considerably more popular 95%.

Wahlberg's going hard on the faith-based filmmaking.

Christ on the cross
Unsplash | Christoph Schmid

"We are already in the works: film, television, across the board, but putting emphasis on quality," Wahlberg said. "The hope is I can intrigue other high-caliber talent to come and do what I did with Father Stu: bet on themselves, take a chance."

"It's not always about the paycheck."

Mark Wahlberg
Wikimedia Commons | Eva Rinaldi

Wahlberg, who topped Hollywood's highest annual earnings list with $68 million in 2017 and has a net worth of nearly a third of a billion dollars, is one of the wealthiest actors of all time.

He told Insider, though, that some stuff — like faith-based filmmaking — is more important than money.

What do you think?

Mark Wahlberg
Wikimedia Commons | Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Father Stu marks a new chapter for Mark Wahlberg, and sounds like a promising, if uneven, debut of his new vision of faith-based filmmaking.

Let us know what you think of this story in the comments section!

h/t: Insider