Interview: Mark Ruffalo
Most of us men may know Mark Ruffalo from the film Shutter Island; the ladies will know him from You Can Count On Me or 13 Going on 30. I met Mark at The Park Hyatt Hotel on Avenue Road in Toronto. He came into the 18th floor Salon casually dressed wearing a Sport Jacket, tee and plaid shirt overtop. Very friendly and down to earth Mark reaches across the table to introduce himself and shake my hand.
Mark's interest in Superheroes started at as a kid when he'd trade comic books with his cousins... "I'll trade you 10 DC comics for 1 Marvel comic!" (I think that was intended as a 'Marvel Plug') Then later, he was introduced to the Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk Television series in which he became a huge fan. That show being the only thing that would bring him into the house other than Dinner. After that, Frank Miller's perspective of Batman in the Dark Night which totally changed the genre and then The X-Men resulting in Mark obtaining a signed copy of a Stand up Wolverine figure.
In The Avengers, Bruce Banner is now a more mature Banner than what we may remember him from in the previous Hulk movies and Mark, now 44, can truly relate to Banner in that he's accepting himself for who he is. When asked "In your day to day life who can you relate to more, Bruce or the Hulk?" Mark laughs... "Probably Bruce Banner but, there was a time in my 20's where I was the definition of the angry young man. But, that's not a good place to live your life from and I'm glad I've been able to 'Bannerize' much of my existence."
You'll find that Mark's Hulk in The Avengers has a slight touch of humour this time round that wasn't present in the past films. With the Sucker Punch on Thor and the way he treats Demigods the likes of Loki! Just imagine your Black Retriever flipping its favourite toy vigorously back and forth like a rag doll hitting the ground.
Even though Mark realized he may only be provided with 5 minutes of screen time as Bruce Banner, he was happy to accept the role. With today's technology, Mark was able to slip into a Motion Capture Suit and become the Hulk and watch himself move on a 4' x 6' monitor; getting the first glimpse of what he'd look like on the Big Screen. Mark, fully suited, then found himself working several days simulating fight scenes that eventually became the basis of the Hulk we see in The Avenger film.
And now for the answer to the question that everyone wants to hear... "When 'Hulked' out, your pants stay on. Yet, when you fell from the sky the pants came off! Help us understand how that happened?"
Mark: "Think of a Meteor, coming into the Earths atmosphere, it just burns up, right! So, his pants burn up! They fall to tatters from the force and the landing knocks them off!"
Up until now, Marks children hadn't been able to see what their Dad does for a living. And then along comes The Avengers and with a Character that Mark really loved growing up with. All 3 of his children love the Hulk. "They're all 3 little Hulks" Mark smiles recalling a memory while recently shopping with his Daughter, she helps pick up a customers dropped groceries. The guy thanks her saying how strong she is and she replies... "I'm the baby Hulk" While Mark simulates her by performing his best front double Bicep Muscle pose.
When asked about the level of Fan support for The Avengers Mark explains how insane it is. Specifically, during a Premier in Moscow, a woman from the crowd elbow checked his publicist out of the way and jumped into his car unbeknownst to the ex-KGB security team around him. "She was sweating, a little intense and holding an envelope in her hand."
Mark: "Hi how are you?"
Woman: "I'm fine I must talk to you, I must give you something."
Mark: "Ah how sweet, what is it."
Woman: "Do you know Tom Hiddleson?"
She opens the envelope and pulls out a drawing that she had created of Tom.
Mark: "Yes, I know Tom Hiddleson." Mark smiles.
Woman: "Will you give this to him?"
Mark: "Yes, I will."
Mark laughs thinking that this is it! His big fan moment and then she pulls out a drawing of Tom Hiddleson. I'm sure that after a few weeks of The Avengers, everyone will now know who Mark Ruffalo is.
So remember, whenever you feel that you're losing control and are about to transform... just breathe and 'Bannerize' yourself.
Check out The Avengers, in theatres now. If you're any bit of a Superhero Fan, you will definitely be happy that you did.
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