‘FATHER STU’ interview: Mark Wahlberg talks fatherhood, spirituality and importance of understanding others


Preston Barta // Features Editor

“Anyone with dreams that didn’t work out can relate to Stuart Long. But things have a way of working out the way they’re supposed to.”

Those are the wise words actor and producer Mark Wahlberg said on his social channels to promote his new film, Father Stu – a true story about a boxer-turned-priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption.

If you follow Wahlberg on social media, you would know that not only is he a devout husband and father (and workout enthusiast) but also a devout Catholic. The importance of his daily routine and starting each day out by saying his prayers and getting himself focused is evident. Now, Wahlberg wants to combine his faith with his film career.

In a recent interview with Fresh Fiction, Wahlberg sits down with film critic Preston Barta to discuss his passion project, fatherhood, and spirituality. He explains that Long’s story shows how often “people are not in touch with other people and their problems,” but Father Stu opens the door to having more meaningful conversations.

Enjoy our conversation below, and catch Father Stu in theaters starting Wednesday.

(The following interview was filmed in Dallas on Mar. 4. All footage comes courtesy of Sony Pictures.)

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.