Warning for spoilers if you are not familiar with Father Stuart Long’s story.
Uncharted’s Mark Wahlberg has been known for giving fitness tips and advice in order for himself to stay in shape for his career and his health. For his new role in Father Stu, Wahlberg actually did the opposite, gaining weight to play real-life former boxer-turned-priest Father Stuart Long. Mark Wahlberg’s weight gain diet for Father Stu sounds great…until you find out that he drank olive oil as part of the process.
While losing weight for a film could be a strenuous task, the same can be said if a fitness buff like Mark Wahlberg has to put on more than a few pounds to prepare for a new role. The Boogie Nights actor spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the miserable foods his weight gain diet entailed and just how much olive oil he consumed for the role.
Mark Wahlberg continued to speak about how he had to go through quite the before-and-after transformation. The true story of Stuart Long follows how he used to be a boxer fighting to get into shape only to become a wheelchair-bound priest suffering from an autoimmune disease. The 30 pound weight gain of Wahlberg contributed to eating 11,000 calories a day and a meal every three hours even when he was full. This not-so-fun process reminds me a lot of when Wahlberg’s former co-star from The Fighter Christian Bale would change his weight for his roles like when he lost 62 pounds for his role in The Machinist only to gain 100 pounds to play Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins right after. These two actors clearly are dedicated to their craft and are willing to do whatever they can to physically get into character. Luckily, Wahlberg is currently back in shape.
Mark Wahlberg’s transformation to play Father Stuart Long mirrored not only the real-life priest’s physical changes he went through, but his spiritual ones as well. When we first see Stuart Long, his boxing career is over as his history of injuries would kill him if he continued. After getting a job in a grocery store, he meets a Sunday school teacher, inspiring him to go to church to win her over and eventually become a priest.
Based on the plot of this new film, it does not seem like your standard faith-based film. While Wahlberg’s co-star Jacki Weaver believed the film was “spiritually uplifting,” she also commented that the film is “amusing, funny, dig in the ribs, doesn’t take itself too seriously, doesn’t proselytize.” In a biographical film with humor and rough characters in play, this should make a very entertaining film with audiences getting a glimpse of a real-life underdog.
You can catch Father Stu in theaters on April 13th. If you can’t get enough Mark Wahlberg, take a look at our upcoming Mark Wahlberg movies list to see what is on the way.