Movies July 20, 2021
Mark Wahlberg Ate a Dozen Eggs for Breakfast Gaining Weight for ‘Stu,’ Plus: He Talks ‘Joe Bell’
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Mark Wahlberg is getting back in shape after packing on 40 lbs. for his upcoming film “Stu.”
He opened up to “Extra’s” Terri Seymour about gaining weight to play the boxer-turned-Catholic priest, as well as his powerful new movie “Joe Bell,” the true story of a man who set out on a cross-country walk to pay tribute to his late son.
Mark told Terri of putting on the extra weight, “I had fun for the first three hours and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, how did I get myself into this?’”
Asked how he gained so quickly, he said, “We only had 30 days to shoot it, so consuming 7,000 calories [daily] for the first two weeks then 11,000 [daily] for the next two weeks,” revealing he would eat “a dozen eggs for breakfast, 12 pieces of bacon, two bowls of white rice, drinking a cup of olive oil, it was... terrible.”
It was harder for Mark to put on the pounds than to take them off. “I don’t mind getting up and exercising because I always feel better. I mean, it’s a great way to start my day with my prayer time and working out. I always feel like I am ready for my day…” He added, “Ugh... putting it on was brutal.”
Meanwhile, in “Joe Bell,” Mark plays a small-town dad on a solo walk across the U.S. to raise awareness of bullying after his gay son Jadin is bullied into taking his own life. Wahlberg said, “When I read the script, I thought immediately of just being a parent and my children and this tragedy happening to such a beautiful boy and wanting to make sure… we show this movie to as many people as possible and continue Joe's journey to opening people’s hearts and minds to being tolerant and accepting of people no matter what.”
His message for those who may be going through something similar? “I want them to continue to reach out for help,” he said. “I think parents have to be willing to listen and see their children for who they are and [offer] acceptance and love and unconditional support. I always felt that Joe wanted to be the cheerleader but he also thought because of where they came from and what his upbringing was the only way to protect his kid was to prevent him from being who he is.”
Mark described Jadin as “such a bright light,” adding, “He was not afraid of who he was, he was just devastated when he realized he couldn’t be who he was in his own home.”
Wahlberg wants parents “to be able to hear your kids, listen to them and then love them unconditionally… It just seems like so hopeless for people who don’t have someone to communicate to and really understand. Obviously, we know so many people having mental health issues during COVID. It really affected teens especially, but them not having somebody to communicate with is devastating.”
“Joe Bell” is in theaters Friday.