Mark Wahlberg Hopes God Will Forgive Him for Some Questionable Movie Roles
By Diana Tyler, Contributing Writer
Everyone has done things they’re ashamed of…things they wish they could go back in time to correct, or erase altogether. In a recent interview with Cardinal Blase Cupich, actor Mark Wahlberg opened up about one such regret.
Wahlberg, who’s starred in such films as LONE SURVIVOR, THE FIGHTER and THE ITALIAN JOB, told the audience at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago that he hopes “God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because [he’s] made some poor choices in [his] past.”
The “poor choice” he referrenced is the 1997 movie BOOGIE NIGHTS, which was both a critical and commercial hit. Despite its success, however, Wahlberg said he’s asked God to forgive him for acting in it.
In the movie, Wahlberg, who is a devout Catholic, played porn star Dirk Diggler, a role which helped catapult him to stardom. In an ABC News interview earlier this year, the Oscar-nominated actor admitted that he almost turned the movie down, but got on board because of the exceptional script and director, Paul Thomas Anderson. He added that he would never reprise the role.
“I have four kids, I’ve got two daughters, I’m married, and I try not to let that affect what I do as an artist,” he said. “But, being a dad, it’d be tougher to make that decision now.”
Wahlberg appeared with the Cardinal in Chicago in an effort to attract young people to the church. He said that his past mistakes, which include being incarcerated as a teenager for severely assaulting a Vietnamese immigrant, might help troubled youths relate to him and how his life was transformed.
“I’ve never been shy about sharing my past,” he said, “and the bad decisions I’ve made and being affiliated with gangs …. So, absolutely, I think they can identify with me on a personal level, and that’s why I’ve continued to try to do as much as I can to help young people.”
The actor believes that while it’s honorable to donate money or develop programs for good causes, one of the best things one can give is his or her time.
“ … to be there and be able to talk to them,” he said, “and tell them there is someone who has been through the same things they are going through and was able to turn their life around, and turn it into a big positive. That’s always important.”
In addition to talking about his not-so-proud moments, Wahlberg said that he prays early every morning. He added that being jailed when he was 16 was a “big wake-up call.”
“A lot of people go to God when they get into trouble. When I heard the jail doors close behind me, … I knew that was just the beginning for me.”
Wahlberg’s past contains its fair share of sins, snafus and serious crimes, many of which are well known, thanks to his celebrity status, but rather than trying to keep them under wraps, denying that they exist, or letting pride minimize their wrongfulness, he’s chosen to confess them, not only to God, but to young people who could benefit from his wisdom, remorse and penitent spirit.
Wahlberg’s honest and heartfelt talk serves as a powerful reminder for all of us, because no one is without sin (Romans 3:23); and, therefore we have but two choices when we stumble: either repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness, or harden our hearts against the truth of our trespasses. Only the former leads to transformative healing, peace and lasting contentment. Only the former has the potential to change people’s lives – if we have the courage to become vulnerable and open up, like Wahlberg.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, NIV
Editor’s Note: Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of multiple novels and faith-based fitness books. Diana can be found on Twitter here.