US actor Mark Wahlberg claims religion is not popular in Hollywood, but he refuses to deny his faith nonetheless.
The Catholic star appeared on Today on Ash Wednesday. He bore the ash cross on his forehead throughout the interview, prompting questions from the hosts.
When asked about his faith, the producer responded: “It’s a balance. I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin.
“You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people. But, I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
Wahlberg has never shied away from talking about his faith. Last year he played the starring role in Father Stu, a biographical drama about a boxer turned Catholic priest.
In fact, he once went as far as to attribute “everything good” in his life to his faith. He first began to follow Christ after spending time in prison at the age of 16.
Speaking of his 2023 Lent commitment, the actor said: “I won’t have any meat, I’ll have one meal today, and I will do that every Friday throughout Lent and Good Friday.”
He told the audience he felt God calling him to improve his discipline, hence the decision to fast: “There are many different elements to fasting, and I think the important thing to understand is — and first of all, if you have issues with food, there are other things — God knows the things that he wants you to detach from.”
“I just think it gives me — discipline has always been important for me in life. Once I started getting in movies and transitioned from music, I realised I needed a lot of discipline in my life, and that discipline has afforded me so many other things, and I have been rewarded for it so much, and I want to share that with people.”
“So, whether that’s with fasting, working out more, detaching from other things, and just spending more time with God in prayer or in thoughtful reflection, and those things are important,” he added.