Mark Wahlberg traded cast iron for calories for his latest role

Actor Mark Wahlberg is renowned for his relentless training program which has allowed him to maintain a young physique at the age of 50. But for his last role in the film “Father Stu”, he swapped cast iron for food, always in impressive quantities.

“Tenderloin of beef, baked potatoes, a dozen eggs every morning, a dozen pieces of bacon, two bowls of white rice, a glass of olive oil…” it for AFP.

“A large amount of protein during the first two weeks; for the next two a lot of starch. And the last two weeks, I was taking a lot of sodium to have this puffy look, but it was not funny at all”, underlines Mark Wahlberg.

This transformation from a muscular athlete to an overweight, overweight individual was indispensable for his role as Stuart Long, a boxer who hangs up his gloves after an injury to try his luck in Hollywood cinema.


Like so many others, he does odd jobs in a supermarket where he meets Carmen, played by Teresa Ruiz (“Narcos”), whom he tries to win over by going to the church she attends.

The disillusioned atheist discovers faith there and decides to become a priest, despite the skepticism of his parents, played by Jacki Weaver (“Happiness Therapy”) and Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”).

He must also face a terrible adversary: ​​a diagnosis of a degenerative disease that will ultimately deprive him of the use of his body.


“Father Stu” is inspired by a true story and for Mark Wahlberg, also producer of the film, it is a radical departure from the action films he is familiar with, like “22 Miles” or “Uncharted”.

But for him, nothing surprising in this: “It’s an unusual role, but it’s also a fairly obvious choice if you know me a little, me and my personal background. With age, I want to find things that have a little more meaning and scope,” he explains to AFP.

“I always had the impression that I was destined to do this,” adds the actor, explaining that he “put his talent and his gifts” at the service of “God”.


Apart from its eminently religious subject – the film will be released in the United States just before the Easter weekend – “Father Stu” also seeks to explore the themes of family and human kindness.

For Teresa Ruiz, her character alone concentrates all these aspects. “I like the fact that she was very kind and generous, and very steeped in religion,” explains the Mexican actress.

“It’s something that I saw in my community, I saw in my mother, so I really appreciate being able to embody that for an international audience,” she says.

The cast of “Father Stu”, which also includes Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”), allowed Teresa Ruiz to rub shoulders very closely with a generation of experienced actors and to learn from them.


“My trailer was right next to Mel’s (Gibson’s). So sometimes I would take a look and hear how he was preparing, it was important for me as a young actress to see how a great one was working,” she said.

For Jacki Weaver, one of the biggest surprises of the shoot was the discovery of Mark Wahlberg and his personality.

“I thought he would be a bad boy, because he always plays these tough roles,” the Australian actress told AFP. “But he’s a wonderful person.”

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