Mark Wahlberg Movie Stu Adds Oscar Nominee Jacki Weaver
The movie tells the story of Father Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest who was run over by a car and later found faith.
The new Mark Wahlberg movie Stu, which is about a real-life boxer-turned-priest, has added Jacki Weaver to its cast. Weaver is a veteran and accomplished Australian actress who earned Academy Award nominations for Silver Livings Playbook and Animal Kingdom.
Wahlberg, who himself earned an Academy Award nomination for The Departed, stars in the film in the title role of Father Stuart Long, with Mel Gibson attached to play his father. Gibson's partner, Rosalind Ross, is making her directorial debut with the film and also wrote the script. There is no word yet on the role that Weaver will play in Stu--Deadline broke the news.
The faith-based movie is expected to tell the story of Long's life. According to California Catholic Daily, he played football in college and then started boxing, winning a heavyweight title in Montana. Despite attending a Christian college, Carroll College, he described himself as "quintessential anti-Christian." After graduating from school, Long pursued a career in professional boxing, but it didn't pan out and he packed up to move to Los Angeles to try to make a career in Hollywood.
He got some small parts, but eventually gave up acting. One fateful day, he was riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a car and then run over by another. He was apparently told he might not make it. In the hospital, he had a come-to-Jesus moment and his close encounter with death inspired him to join the priesthood.
Long's story sounds like something out of a movie, and now it will become one. Teresa Ruiz, who starred on Narcos: Mexico, is also lined up to appear in Stu.
Long was later diagnosed with a degenerative muscle disease and passed away in 2014. "When he passed away in 2014, many were looking to him as an example of faith and love overcoming pain and hardship," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Wahlberg recently revealed that, after he finishes filming the boxing portion of Stu, he plans to gain 30 pounds to look more like Long at that part of his life. Wahlberg plans to eat a lot of fried food and drink beer to put on the weight.
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