Mark Wahlberg Says Mel Gibson Inspired Him to Spend ‘Millions’ on ‘Father Stu’

Mark Wahlberg has already proven his acting abilities, but what about his work behind the scenes? The actor has produced many projects, but his latest, Father Stuis special at Wahlberg.

Mark Wahlberg struggled to get ‘Father Stu’ done

Wahlberg had been trying to make a film about the Stuart Long story for six years. Long was a former boxer who dedicated his life to the Roman Catholic Church after nearly dying in a motorcycle accident. He died in 2014 after years of battling a rare autoimmune disease called inclusion body myositis.

Wahlberg was looking for a story he could tell onscreen that celebrated his Catholic faith when a priest at his church told him about “Father Stu.” The actor saw similarities between his own life and Long’s and decided that was the story he wanted to tell.

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The film languished for years in development, with no studio willing to finance the film.

“I slipped the script to a few people who I thought might get it, and they didn’t,” Wahlberg told Insider. “And of course, it’s subjective. You have your own impression of what the material is. Some people thought it was depressing because he’s sick at the end. They haven’t seen the heart and the emotion and ultimately how inspiring it is.

How Mel Gibson inspired Mark Wahlberg

Eventually, Wahlberg decided to take matters into his own hands. Inspired by daddy’s house 2 co-star Mel Gibson, the actor made the decision to finance the film himself.

Gibson made the same choice when trying to make The passion of Christ. Studios were unwilling to take a chance on the controversial film, but it became a blockbuster, grossing over $350 million at the box office. It remains the highest-grossing R-rated film in the domestic market.

Wahlberg repaid Gibson for this inspiration by throwing him into Father Stu as the titular character’s father.

The actor celebrates the film’s long-awaited release, telling Insider, “There’s a little divine intervention going on. The film has been blessed.

How much did Mark Wahlberg spend on “Father Stu?”

Mark Wahlberg | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

When asked how much money he had to put in to make the film, Wahlberg was vague, saying, “Let’s just say I put millions and millions of dollars into the film — and then hired other costs because we went over the production schedule, and there are permissions for the music.

The actor also revealed that he wasn’t the only financial backer for Father Stu.

“I also brought in a friend who is not in the cinema but who believed in the project,” Wahlberg explained. “And I had another friend who works in film who came over for a little part.”

Mark Wahlberg’s role in ‘Father Stu’ was a ‘challenge’

Some have pointed out that the role is quite different from his previous work as an action and comedy star, but Wahlberg said he wanted to challenge himself.

“Look, this stuff doesn’t happen often,” he said of the project. “Sometimes you really have to go out and look for things that will challenge you. It is a blessing.

Wahlberg’s work on Father Stu shows his commitment to growing as an actor and bringing stories he believes in to the big screen.

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