Mark Wahlberg on his faith: ‘I don’t try to push it on anybody & I don’t try to hide it’


Mark Wahlberg is promoting his new movie, Lone Survivor, a true story about a group of Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. The story is crushing and the film looks good, but it also looks like the kind of film that will make you hate your life. It always surprises me when Mark mixes in these surprisingly gifted dramatic performances – even though I think Mark is probably a toolbox, I have to say, he has dramatic chops. He’s a gifted actor who just chooses to do crap most of the time. Anyway, Mark has a new interview with Parade, which you can read here. Some highlights:

He’s a high school-graduate now: [He called] dropping out in ninth grade “one of my biggest regrets,” and he got his diploma over the summer. “I didn’t want my kids saying, ‘You didn’t finish school—why do we need to?’ ” he says.

His takeaway from Lone Survivor: “It takes a very special individual to become a SEAL. I felt it was so important to give the guys who never came down off that mountain their due. My wife couldn’t talk for 45 minutes after she saw the movie. All she kept thinking about were the sons and fathers and mothers and daughters out there fighting for our freedom. You take it for granted.”

His hometown, Boston: “It’s a great blue-collar town. Just look at what happened with the marathon bombings and how people rallied together. When I was watching the World Series, I told my wife and kids how important it was for the city, how much it would mean to people.”

His Sunday routine: “If the kids are good, I’ll have doughnuts for them at 6:30 in the morning, and I’ll say, ‘You guys gotta let Mommy sleep in!’ I’ll go to church at 7:30 and everybody will be eating breakfast when I come home. Then we’ll go to church again at 10:30, if things aren’t too hectic. Or if one of the kids has a game we’ll watch them play. It’s a nice family day.”

His faith: “It’s the most important part of my life. I don’t try to push it on anybody and I don’t try to hide it.”

He loves Legos: “My sons and I thoroughly enjoy Legos. We go to the toy store every week for more. I never want to take what we build apart; I want to put it on a shelf. My wife is starting to get a little annoyed with the Legos lying around.”

His entourage: “My wife, the kids, and a wonderful nanny. When I’m filming, all the guys are with me; but if I’m not at work, I’m with my family.”

Feeling like he has something to prove: “Certainly. I don’t think it was customary for people from a music background to be accepted in film in a serious way. Considering what I had to overcome, I’ve had plenty to motivate me. Even more so today—I’m passionate about what I do. I’m a little older, but I’m not getting lazy!”

[From Parade]

He goes to church twice on Sundays? That’s what I’m getting. Explain it to me, Catholics. He goes to an early mass by himself and then he takes his family with him later? Is that common? I think Mark is probably like many religious people these days – a misspent youth, years spent chasing the superficial things, then parenthood and adulthood and you go back to your faith. His faith just seems more important to him because he’s a father, I think – he wants to raise his kids with a set of values and he probably hopes that they aren’t going to have the same kind of misspent youth he had.

Also – I kind of love that he gives a shout-out to his kids’ nanny. In The Mother Wars, it does seem like only the women get asked about nannies and such, so it’s great to see an actor acknowledge that he couldn’t do what he does without a support system that includes his kids’ nanny.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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37 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg on his faith: ‘I don’t try to push it on anybody & I don’t try to hide it’”

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  1. Tessa says:

    Early morning mass is quieter and more reflective. It’s geared towards adults, and it usually has less music, and it’s shorter. By 10:30 you’re into family mass, which can be chaotic and crowded, and like he said, not always a guarantee because people have lives and stuff to do. My grandfather used to go twice on Sunday. He was an usher and a Eucharistic Minister.

    • Diana says:

      Nicely explained. We can go to Mass as many times in a day as we want, although we should only take Communion once a day (in extreme situations, more is allowed). But yeah, he probably goes a second time, allowing his wife to pray while he focuses on the kids and helps them appreciate the Mass. It’s a nice thing.

    • epiphany says:

      Also, the more Sacraments you receive, the more you are imbued with God’s grace. Communion is a Sacrament. My grandmother lived across the street from her church, and went to Mass everyday.
      I hope what he’s saying about his faith is sincere – Mel Gibson claimed for years to be a good Catholic boy who was devoted to his family, and we all know how that turned out. I’d like to think at least one celebrity is living his faith, not just putting on a show.

    • Jericho says:

      That’s what it sounds like to me, too, Tessa. “If things aren’t too hectic,” then he’ll go again, but he seems to want to make sure he can attend at least one Mass. When my dad was in the hospital, he wanted to “attend” services, too, so he would watch it on EWTN.

    • Meredith says:

      Yes, that’s a good way of explaining it. I don’t think it’s exactly common to go to mass twice on Sunday, but it’s not weird. Different masses can serve different purposes.

  2. Penny says:

    He’s a weird guy, I remember him talking about how he wouldn’t marry his now wife until he was sure she was the one (at the time she was pregnant, they already had one child and they’d been together almost a decade). He was basically arguing that God would be totally cool with him having kids out of wedlock, because the only important thing was that he never used a condom.

    • Redheadwriter says:

      That’s where I was going to go. As a Catholic, he seems to pick and choose what parts of the faith he wants to follow. And that’s not how it works. 😉

      Granted, he may have had a strengthening of his faith and recognizes how that was in error previously in how he practiced, so no judgment. But we’ll see if any mistresses or other babies pop up over the years!

      • L says:

        A lot of Catholics are like this. I’m one of them. I always say faith is a complicated thing and means many things to many people so it’s best not to judge.

      • Actually, that’s EXACTLY how it works for a great many Catholics–definitely in the U.S., and probably around the world. That’s what people mean when they say “American Catholic.” But they don’t mean “Not Catholic.”

      • Spooks says:

        Not just American Catholics. I’d say 90% of Catholics I know ( including myself) are like this. I mean, gay rights, contraception, we agree and support most of these things even if the Church doesn’t. And I can’t say I know many, if any people who waited till marriage to have sex, and I never met or heard about a Duggar style family.
        Also, being Catholic is a ig part of our national identity.

  3. mel says:

    Ooooh, bonus Eric Bana pic!

  4. lenje says:

    His children are so cute!

  5. TheOriginalKitten says:

    His faith is more important than his family?

    Eh, whatever helps him to be a better person I guess…….

    • Esmom says:

      I guess. I also thought he was laying on the faith stuff a bit thick. It’s Parade so maybe that’s what the readers like to see.

    • the_porscha says:

      A lot of really religious people think this way. It’s not meant to be offensive. It’s meant to say that, above all, your faith in God is more meaningful than anything else, and that through Him, you are granted other things that are meaningful, like freedom in life and your family. My uncle is this way, and to varying degrees, my mom was too when we were younger. It doesn’t bother me. It’s a belief system that they hold to very strongly and it means a lot to them. I understand it.

    • Naye in VA says:

      In the Christian faith, it is widely held that God is the glue within the family. “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven.” It doesn’t in any way mean that one should put the happiness and well-being of their family on the line. It just means that if you make a relationship with God a focus in your life the rest of your life is covered by Him as well including your home life.. If anyone tells you that they neglect their family to spend all their time and money on the church, they are doing it wrong. Whalberg seems to be doing okay.

    • Lauraq says:

      Honestly, to me, yes, my relationship with God is more important than my family. I understand how that may seem weird to you, especially if you’re not religious, but see it from the point of view of someone who is: Your relationship with an infinite being who crafted you and planned for you to have your family is going to be more important than the finite things of this life.
      Like I said, I understand how it can seem weird. But to me, having a strong relationship with God also helps me be a better person. Ergo, I am able to be a better daughter, sister, lover, and friend.

  6. jinni says:

    Well it’s probably easier for him to acknowledge having a nanny because people are less judgmental of fathers (famous or otherwise). I’m sure someone reading this article will be wondering why his wife, who seems to have no outside job, would need a nanny and question her dedication as a mother because women are always judged harshly.

  7. Bananapants says:

    I ain’t mad at you, Marky Mark, but I still remember when you used to strut around in your underpants, so don’t get too carried away with the pious.

  8. Dani2 says:

    This guy left a Vietnamese guy permanently blind when he was sixteen. After he “found Jesus”, he still hasn’t made any sort of retribution but he says it’s okay because he’s forgiven himself. Whatever Mark, the life you live should validate the faith you claim to belong to.

    • V4Real says:

      Ok so he’s a religious douche but still a douche.

      Something just seems off with him. I’m getting a hidden anger problem vibe from him.

      • Dani2 says:

        @V4Real Yeah and I don’t feel like it’s about being a good Christian, it’s about being a decent human being. And yup, I totally feel like he’s one of those people with explosive anger issues.

  9. LP says:

    It would have been nice if he’d prioritized this faith before he committed racially-motivated assaults and permanently blinded a Vietnamese man.

    Um, allegedly. Or not. It’s common knowledge. I’m just watching a lot of Good Wife right now.

  10. Dizzle says:

    I don’t know, he seems like a really cool and interesting guy. Maybe I’m biased bc I’m from Boston…

  11. Nerd Alert says:

    I call BS. I was visiting Cali about 2 years ago and he was with his wife at Whole Foods. He saw an atheist bumper sticker and wigged out. She was really embarrassed. This isn’t undeniable proof, but anyone who goes cray over an atheist bumper is a pusher. That was the first of 3 times I’ve seen this man in person, and on none of the occasions was he well-behaved. [I’ve never spoken to him because I don’t give enough sh!ts to try, but I figured that was implied:]

    • Amy says:

      Catholics don’t claim to be perfect. We can be angry, illogical and badly-behaved.

      We’re works in progress – nice that you’ve already succeeded in perfection!

      • Nerd Alert says:

        It was not a comment on Catholics, it was a comment on bad behavior. He has consistently bad behavior, and that is not anecdotal. Why don’t you google the story about the man he disfigured out of racism? Or perhaps there’s no line in the sand as long as you’re a “work in progress.”

        But I suppose it’s nice that you can take offense to a comment that has nothing to do with you! That’s good for your sanity, I’m sure.

    • the original bellaluna says:

      I’ve never seen him in person, but the whole Catholic wedding when she was pregnant with their 4th child struck me as kind-of hypocritical. However, from my admittedly limited knowledge of Catholicism, once confesses in Confessional to a priest and given their path to atonement, they are forgiven.

    • littlestar says:

      Juicy story, Nerd! Thanks for sharing. I have never liked this guy (although I did find him hot at one point *regrets*). He seems like an idiot. A so dumb you can’t even reason with him kind of person. And the fact that he has never apologized to the man he blinded speaks volumes about him – he just spews bs but doesn’t actually live the way he preaches.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        Thanks! And I agree, littlestar. From what I’ve seen of him in public, he’s an asshat. He’s not very smart and seems to have no concern for others. I don’t care what a person’s religion is, behavior like his is never justified. He threw a tantrum over a sticker in the parking lot as a grown man, and it was pitiful to see. I can’t respect a person like that. Interestingly, the last time I saw him he was being needlessly rude to a waiter, and that is a peeve of mine.

        @bellaluna and littlestar: What bothers me is that he hasn’t apologized to the man he blinded, but he probably apologized to his priest about it, you know? He can just go confess and magically he’s washed clean. My grandmother, a very sage woman and a Catholic, always told me this: “You can be a good Catholic by confessing your sins to the Father, but you’re only a good person if you atone for them as well.”

        So maybe he’s a great Catholic; I just don’t think he’s a good person.

  12. Amber says:

    I go to the same church as Marky Mark and he is always there at 7:30 am when he is in town. My friend’s mom was like, “He comes with a friend, but his friend always sits outside. I wonder why?” and I was like, “That’s his bodyguard!”

  13. Snarkweek says:

    I’m glad Jesus gives second chances because people sure don’t 🙁