Mark Wahlberg: Faith is ‘unpopular’ in Hollywood

“I don’t want to shove it down anyone’s throat, but I don’t deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin.”

Mark Wahlberg takes his holy place.

The “Father Stu” actor reflected on the role religion has played in his life, especially as a Hollywood Catholic. “(Faith) is everything, it’s given me so much,” Wahlberg said on the “Today” show (via Fox news). “God did not come to save the saints. He came to save sinners… We want to be better versions of ourselves, and focusing on my faith allows me to do that.”

He continued: “It’s a balance. I don’t want to shove it down anyone’s throat, but I don’t deny my faith. This is an even greater sin. You know, it’s not popular in my profession, but you know, I can’t deny my faith. It’s important to me to share this with people. I have friends from all walks of life and all faiths and religions, so it’s important to honor and respect them too.”

Wahlberg has credited the faith-based approach to discipline in shaping his own career.

“When I started making films and transitioned into music, I realized that I needed a lot of discipline in my life,” he said. “And that discipline has given me many other things. I want to share this with people. So whether it’s fasting, separation from other things, or just spending more time with God in prayer or thoughtful reflection, those things are important.”

Wahlberg spoke about Lent using the prayer app Hallow, for which he is a guest speaker.

“God knows the things you want to walk away from,” the “Transformers” star said. “We all know those things that make us feel guilty but don’t feel as good as we should. So being able to detach from those things and focus on good habits as opposed to bad habits only makes people become better versions of themselves.”

Wahlberg has previously reflected on his own career choices, particularly on the porn industry epic “Boogie Nights,” regarding his religion.

“I always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I’ve made bad decisions in my past,” Wahlberg said in 2017. “‘Boogie Nights’ is at the top of the list.”

Wahlberg later clarified his comments, saying, “I’ve sat in front of a couple of thousand kids that I’ve talked about and tried to encourage them to come back to their faith, and I just said I hope you have a sense of humor because I might have made some decisions that weren’t they agree with him.”

In 2022, Wahlberg explained that he only wants to take on projects that have “real substance and can help people,” such as the “Father Stu” biopic.

“I definitely want to focus on making more, I wouldn’t say necessarily just faith-based content, but things that help people,” the star said. “Hopefully, this film will open up opportunities not only for me, but for many other people in Hollywood to create more meaningful content.”

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