.- Hollywood actor Matt Marsden said that young Catholics need to get involved in movie-making and other artistic ventures if they want to change the culture.
âItâs vitally important for the future,â the 38-year-old actor â who has starred in movies such as âBlack Hawk Downâ and âTransformersâ â told CNA during his World Youth Day visit in Madrid on Aug. 19.
âThereâs not going to be anything left if we donât fight,â he added. âPope John Paul was so explicit about it wasnât he? About getting involved in culture and movies â and at the moment weâre not.â
Marsden had just taken part in a panel discussion on the subject of faith and entertainment at Madridâs Palacio de Deportes indoor stadium which, for this week, is a base for English-speaking pilgrims at World Youth Day.
âThereâs so much I wanted to say to the young people â that Iâm so proud and inspired by them and that theyâre so far along in their faith at such a young age. I think thatâs really crucial.â
But it is the culture that young people are growing up in that most concerns Marsden, and the lack of impact that Catholicism has upon the movie making process in Hollywood.
âWe are the only group that doesnât have a voice in Hollywood â the only group â and thatâs totally down to investment.â
The solution, said Marsden, is for âhigh net worthâ Catholics to come together to create a film fund that could invest in specific film projects or even buy a studio. Otherwise, film projects that promote or reflect a Christian worldview simply wonât get made, he said.
âYouâve got to look at something like the 'Passion of the Christ,'â Marsden noted. âTo me it always was a slam dunk. Youâve got Mel Gibson who, for me, is a fine actor and is an even better director â the guy is a genius â and he couldnât get funding for it. That for me is just madness.â
âCatholics,â he said, âwill sit about and complain about the state of the culture but then theyâll go and build a wing of a hospital. Thatâs great but theyâd have much more impact on the culture as a whole if they invested in a film fund.â
Marsden originally hails from near Birmingham in England but now lives in Los Angeles, despite his ongoing obsession with his favorite English soccer team, West Bromwich Albion. His greatest passions in life, however, are his family and his faith.
âI get great inspiration from my wife,â said Marsden, who has been married to Maltese-born Nadine for the past six years. They have three children.
âShe is the way that people should live their lives. The way she behaves, sheâs amazing. Every time I look at her I see the goodness of God. I really mean that â because sheâs an angel.â
Equally inspirational, he said, are prayer and the sacraments.
âConfession is very, very important as well. When I was younger I never went to confession and now I go weekly. It is such a great gift and people who donât go should go.â
As for future projects, his ambition is to make a film about the 16th century Siege of Malta when the Christian Knights of St. John, vastly outnumbered, defeated the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire.
Marsden explained that âif Malta had gone Christendom would have been wiped out.â
âIt is a staggering story of faith, just staggering,â he said, but it would also make âan incredible action film.â
The hero of the story is Jean Parisot de Valette, the Grand Master who was âa 73-year-old man fighting in a suit of armor â I mean itâs just so cool,â Marsden said.
âAnd I love Malta because my wife is Maltese and the set is already there â itâs the island. So that is my dream to do that. It would be excellent. And Iâd love Mel Gibson to direct it.â