By Kathy Chouteau
Hercules actor Alonso Saravia recently checked in with the Standard to announce his latest movie, Father Stu, featuring Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, has been released on Netflix. The film debuted in movie theatres April 13.
The movie is a biographical drama starring Wahlberg that tells the story of Stuart Long, a non-Catholic boxer who enters seminary school after having a life-altering experience. Saravia plays a seminary student and said he filmed his scenes over four days on location in Agoura Hills and Calabasas, Calif.
Some of those scenes were with Wahlberg, one of his childhood heroes growing up from past movies like Ted, Transformers and The Other Guys. In the movie, Saravia’s character attends seminary school with Wahlberg’s character and appears with him in a church prayer scene and also a basketball scene.
Saravia said working with Wahlberg was “a pinch-me kind of moment” and that it was a very humbling experience working with one of his longtime idols. “I felt like I was in another universe” he said about working with the star and added that Wahlberg was “extremely nice.”
Saravia said Wahlberg and Gibson funded the project with their personal money, and although he didn’t shoot any scenes with Gibson, he was occasionally directed by him. “He was one of the toughest people I ever had to work with,” said Saravia.
So what’s next for the local full-time actor? Saravia—whose past film work has included The Matrix Resurrections, Ant Man & the Wasp and Bullet Train—has been working on national commercials as of late and has even worked on an employee video for Apple that will be seen globally.
The Pinole Valley High alum—who got his first acting gig working on the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why after reading about a casting call in the Standard—had some advice to share to others out there chasing their dreams.
“Always ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing…I constantly ask myself that question,” said Saravia. “I feel that I’ve found my purpose in acting because I can spread a positive message, I can probably influence or inspire other people to pursue whatever it is they want to pursue. Because I was able to work with my childhood heroes and just tell people, ‘Hey, what’s stopping you from pursuing your dreams?’”