Mark Wahlberg Shows Off Dramatic Weight Gain For New Movie Role

Wahlberg will play the boxer, actor, and priest Stuart Long in a new film.

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Oscar-nominated actor and burger chain owner Mark Wahlberg is known for his determination and effort in the weight room, but he went a different direction for his latest movie role. The actor gained 30 pounds to play Father Stuart Long for the new faith-based film, Stu.

Stu was a boxer earlier in his life before retiring from that and becoming a priest. As you can see in the images below, Wahlberg is doing his best to recreate this physical journey to play the role. In the course of just three weeks, Wahlberg transformed his body meaningfully.

Wahlberg worked with chef Lawrence Duran to bulk up in a safe and healthy way.

Wahlberg previously told Jimmy Kimmel that his plan to gain the weight was simple: eat everything in sight. It might not have gone down exactly like that, but he did succeed in putting on the weight. Wahlberg originally said he was going to do it in six weeks but apparently it took only three.

"They want me to do it as healthy as possible. I'm like, 'Dude, I've been on such a regimen for so long. I just want to eat everything in sight,'" he said. "I want to go to bakeries. I want to go to Denny's. I want to get pancakes. I want to get everything that I can possibly get my hands on."

Wahlberg joked (?) that his first meal in his bulking phase will be a 20-piece McNugget pack with KFC and a six-pack of beer to wash it down.

Wahlberg is working on Stu alongside Mel Gibson, who will play Long's father. The script is written by Gibson's partner, Rosalind Ross, who is also directing. Teresa Ruiz, who starred on Narcos: Mexico, is also lined up to appear in Stu, alongside Oscar nominated actress Jacki Weaver.

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 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.

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