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How Conservative Artists Survive in a Hollywood Dominated by Progressivism

Few places in the world are able to bring together as many influential and famous progressives as Hollywood, the district of Los Angeles that has become synonymous with the US film industry. In the midst of the numerous artistic community in the area, there are few who dare to freely express opinions that will be branded as conservative by the dominant majority, mainly because of the consequences that this type of label usually brings to the career. Among those willing to submit to the probable martyrdom is actor Mark Wahlberg, star of several action films, such as ‘Transformers’, and Oscar nominee for 2004 for his participation in ‘The Departed’.

A practicing Catholic, Wahlberg is used to testifying to his faith in social networks, but seems to have decided it was time to take a bolder step and has just released Father Stu (‘Fight for Faith: Father Stu’s Story’, according to the title planned for Brazil), the first film that is produced and starring by himself. The screenplay is an adaptation of the true story of Stuart Long, a violent, womanizing and agnostic ex-boxer who, after a serious accident, converts and changes his life, to the point of becoming a priest. In the United States, the film premiered on Good Friday and should hit Brazilian theaters on the day 04 of May.

Since learning about the redemption story of the Montana priest who captivated the local community and died in 2013, Wahlberg nourished the desire to see her on screen, but the difficulties she faced to to make the project viable were huge, as are usually those of most scripts with a Christian bias that are presented to the big studios. It took six long years of hearing negative responses from dozens of executives, among whom there were those who were sincere enough to point out that one of the problems with the idea was the word “priest” in the film’s title.

Tired of so many doors in the face and obstinate enough to get the idea out of paper, Wahlberg appealed to the only way that some artists and directors have found to cross the wall of resistance against the promotion of the Christian faith in big productions: pay from their own money. pocket and count on friends who share your convictions. Speaking to entertainment magazine Insider, Wahlberg did not specify amounts, but revealed that he invested “millions and millions” of his own money to produce the film, splitting the costs only with “some friends who believed in the project”.

The name of the other investors was not revealed, but among the friends who definitely had a relevant role in the production is Mel Gibson, who in the story plays the Father Stu’s father. It’s not the first time the two Catholic actors have appeared on screen together and there are at least two other films set to star in the next few years, but in the case of Father Stu Gibson’s participation was more comprehensive. The director chosen to direct the feature film was Rosalind Ross, Gibson’s girlfriend since 2014, with whom she has a child. It is his debut film in the role.

The Passion of the Christ

Don’t stop there. According to Wahlberg himself, the motivation to make use of personal finances to boost production came from the example given by Gibson, who took unbelievable US$ 22163338 millions of his fortune to produce alone The Passion, released in

. “I was really impressed with the quality of the film and how much risk he took to finance the work. I always appreciated it. It’s his love letter to his faith in God and that inspired me to do this,” the actor told Insider.

Paying for everything yourself wasn’t Gibson’s first choice either, but, as he said at the time the film was released, the script that dealt with the latest hours of Jesus Christ before his death didn’t seem appealing to the American cinema elite, especially when it was revealed that the film would be entirely spoken in Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin, almost an insult to producers who were rooting for it. the nose even for the need to include subtitles in specific scenes.

Gibson’s risky bet couldn’t have been more successful. After debuting on Ash Wednesday in 1998, The Passion of the Christ made US$ 50 million in the US and US $438 million worldwide. To this day it is the highest-grossing self-financed film of all time.

Jim Caviezel, em setembro de 2019, numa das palestras que passou a fazer em igrejas após o sucesso de A Paixão de Cristo (foto: reprodução/YouTube).
Jim Caviezel, in September de 2017, in one of the lectures he started to give in churches after the success of A Paixão de Cristo (photo: reproduction /YouTube).

The Passion of the Christ was also a watershed moment for Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus. Before accepting the role, Caviezel’s participation in films such as Beyond the Red Line (2006 ) and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) earned him the image of a rising Hollywood star, but everything changed with the huge impact of the biblical film. In 2006, seven years after the release, he revealed in an interview with the British newspaper Daily Mail that having played Jesus in that movie “ruined his career” and that Gibson himself had warned him that this could happen.

“He said to me, ‘You will never work in this city (Hollywood) again,’ and I replied that we all have to embrace our crosses,'” testified Caviezel during a sermon to the faithful of a church in Florida. made Jesus more famous in cinema the opportunities that arose for the actor came much more from the modest market of low-budget religious productions than from the blockbusters in which he acted before.

Despite the consequences to his professional life, when talking about the subject in public, Caviezel often says that he never regretted it and that he would do it all over again. In a way, this hypothesis can come true. . Despite now having 53 years, in , the actor confirmed that Mel Gibson had invited him to play the Son of God again in the announced sequel to the film, pre-titled as The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection. The problem is that the project seems to face even greater obstacles than the original.

The sequel was announced by Gibson in , had the protagonist confirmed in 2018 and in 2020 won a screenwriter, Randall Wallace, the same one who wrote Braveheart. But to this day nothing has come out of paper and not a single scene has been filmed. There are those who even point out that the delay in making the project work would be related to the story that one wants to take to the screens. The script would deal with the three days between the death and resurrection of Christ, a period in which, according to an ancient Christian tradition, Christ would have descended to hell to rescue the souls that were waiting for his coming. Such an eschatological and supernatural plot would be too much for the financiers, even in the face of the profit history that The Passion of Christ is capable of showing.

Politics

It’s not just the Christian religion that suffers from Hollywood’s progressive bickering. Donald Trump’s administration has created a new type of target for cancellations and boycotts. In 2017, comedian Tim Allen, best known in Brazil for doing the original voice of Buzz Lightyear, in Toy Story franchise, was caught off guard in a talk show when asked by the presenter if he went to President Trump’s inauguration party.

Although he was visibly embarrassed, Allen confirmed his presence and vented: “you have to be very careful with it around here. You get beaten up if you don’t believe what everyone else believes. This is like the Germany of the years

, I do not know what happened”.

That same year, veteran James Woods, who retired in 2013, used Twitter to expose the situation of actors who publicly showed some sympathy for Trump and his party: “The only reason I express my opinions is that I accepted the fact of being on the blacklist.” In another demonstration , he said: “While liberals scream about the blacklist of the years 50, my fellow actors who support Republicans are afraid of losing the ability to support their families.”

Imagem de divulgação de Reagan, filme sobre a biografia do ex-presidente dos Estados Unidos.
Publicity image of Reagan, a film about the biography of the former president of the United States.

To make films that portray notoriously conservative politicians in a positive way is not easy either. This explains how one of the most popular presidents in US history, Ronald Reagan, who was an actor and worked for years in Hollywood, took so long to get a biopic. In 2020 the debut of Reagan, directed by Sean McNamara and starring Dennis Quaid, should take place. Before this production, the former president who led America in the period that marked the collapse of Soviet communism had only won documentaries or satires.

Reagan, which will be based on the book The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, by Paul Kengor, is yet another film for which Hollywood’s powerful progressives did everything they could to bury it for good or at least delay it. it. It was first announced in 2010 and it only hits the big screen now, eleven years later, thanks to the investment of TriStar Global Entertainment, a company based in Canada.

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