Mark Wahlberg reflects on losing his mother Alma while filming ‘Father Stu’: ‘I just tried to hold on’

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Nearly a year ago, Mark Wahlberg lost his beloved mother Alma.

The actor was filming “Father Stu” when he first learned about the matriarch’s passing. Alma died at 78 after facing dementia.

“It was tough,” the 50-year-old admitted to Extra on Monday. “She was very sick, went home to visit her… say goodbye… FaceTiming constantly… We knew that it was inevitable. I just tried to hold on and be as positive as possible.”

Wahlberg said he continues to fondly remember his mother and how she lived.

ALMA WAHLBERG, MOM OF ACTORS MARK AND DONNIE AND STAR OF ‘WAHLBURGERS,’ DEAD AT 78

Mark Wahlberg plays the real-life Stuart Long in “Father Stu.”
(Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

“She was an amazing person,” Wahlberg said. “She taught us all through all the difficulties that we had and faced… She was very proud that we turned our lives around.”

The star noted that filming “Father Stu” brought him a sense of solace during a difficult time. He plays an aspiring boxer-turned-priest who suffers from a degenerative and incurable muscular disorder.

The story is based on the real-life Father Stuart Long, who leaned on faith during tough times. It’s a message Wahlberg was able to identify with.

Long passed away in 2014 at age 50. Wahlberg also serves as a producer for the biopic.

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Alma Wahlberg attends the

Alma Wahlberg attends the “Patriots Day” screening at the Boch Center Wang Theater on Dec. 14, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Natasha Mustache/WireImage)

“The reason why he was so effective was because he was authentic,” Wahlberg explained. “He was speaking the truth from experience, and that’s invaluable… He’s such a remarkable man. It was an honor for me to portray him in the film and to tell his story.”

And Wahlberg was committed to the role. According to the outlet, he ate baked potatoes, bacon, eggs and steaks – as well as drank olive oil – to pack on 40 pounds.

“The first two weeks, I ate 7,000 calories a day, and [the] last four weeks, I ate 11,000 calories a day,” he admitted.

Wahlberg explained in February to Fox Nation why “Father Stu” is needed now.

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Mark Wahlberg visits All Saints Chapel at Carroll College on behalf of the film

Mark Wahlberg visits All Saints Chapel at Carroll College on behalf of the film “Father Stu” on April 4, 2022, in Helena, Montana.
(Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

“People need to have faith and hope,” he said at the time. “I just knew that I needed to make this movie, and this was my calling and this was my mission. And, now, it’s needed more than ever.”

“Hopefully, it will do some really important work and help a lot of people,” he continued. “It’s certainly a turning point for me in my life… I need to stop focusing so much on Mark and start doing much more work for God and for less fortunate people.”

When asked about the film’s message to audiences, Wahlberg said it was simply about “not giving up.”

“God’s not going to give up on you,” encouraged the actor. “Don’t you dare go giving up on yourself.”

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