(NewsNation) — Actor Mark Wahlberg’s faith is important to him.
He attends church often, and wakes up as early as 2:30 a.m. to pray for a full 30 minutes.
“I’ve never been one to try to force my faith on somebody. But I’m also not going to deny my faith. That’s a big no-no, where I come from,” he said.
So it’s fitting that in his latest movie, “Father Stu,” Wahlberg plays a priest.
The film follows the life of Father Stuart Long, “a boxer-turned-priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption,” according to its IMDB page. It stars Wahlberg as Long.
The idea came when Wahlberg was sitting at a restaurant with two real-life priests. One of them told him Long’s story as the other two ate their meal and drank their wine.
“He just kept trying to pitch me on this thing,” Wahlberg said.
It ended up sparking Wahlberg’s interest, and that’s when the actor made it his mission to get the movie made and have “Stu’s voice continue.”
Wahlberg is no stranger to having moments like this in his life, where he is called to do something, even on “a small scale.” It happened when he was first starting to go to church.
Someone came to speak, and asked the audience: are you here as a spectator? Or as a participant?
“I just felt like she was talking directly to me, even though there was a church full of people,” Wahlberg said. “So I started moving up.”
Before he knew it, Wahlberg became an usher. He was eventually asked to host the pope himself.
“I just committed to saying ‘Yes,'” Wahlberg said.
“Father Stu” comes out Wednesday in theaters.