Avengers Assemble Mark Ruffalo Interview

Mark Ruffalo plays The Hulk in the new Avengers Assemble movie and he joined producer Kevin Feige for a Q&A with fans in London the day after the film’s European premiere. He talks about stepping into his friend Edward Norton’s shoes to take over the superhero role, his experiences of making the film and whether or not there will be a new solo film adventure for The Hulk…

Did you feel under pressure taking on The Hulk?

The fans hold Hulk very dear and have a lot of strong opinions about who should, or should not be playing him. I’ve never had a performance of mine that has been reviewed so much before I’d even shot a single frame of it. It was a little terrifying but it’s been a really nice acceptance that I’ve received from them.

What excited you about the role?

What was wonderful about this opportunity was that it’s the first time someone has been able to play both Banner and the Hulk. Only because with the new technology we’ve got to a point where that’s possible with motion capture suits and CGI.

When I started preparing for this Joss and I talked a lot about the television show from the 70s. I sat down and watched it all with my own son. He’ ten years old and after we started watching it he came to me and said “Papa, he’s so misunderstood!” that was it to me, that was why I loved the Hulk growing up. It’s like you have this kid full of all this energy, passion, anger and frustrations… all these things are boiling away inside his body right at the time when people are saying behave yourself! So I have my own little Hulk at home and I dedicate this performance to him.

Did you take this role as part of a conscious decision to do something you haven’t done before?

There’s an interesting perception about actors that we actually pick the roles we get. But more often than not we’re actually picked for them.  So it wasn’t a conscious decision to finally do something like this. It was just a matter of timing and waiting for someone like Joss to come and say “hey do you want to do this?” I was as surprised as anyone else that he was asking me to do it. But if I saw myself playing any part like this, ever since I was a kid I was attached to the Hulk.

Did you talk to Eric Bana or Edward Norton about the character before you started filming?

Let me start by saying I have a great admiration and respect for both those actors and this movie is just a continuation of those performances. It’s just an older more tired and world weary version of Banner who’s finally gotten tired of running and wants to turn and face his demons.

I am good friends with Ed Norton in particular. I did call him up when all this all went down and said “Look Man I need to get your blessing”. I needed to let him know that I didn’t want to tread on his territory. He told me it was okay he said you have to do it. He made a joke that it’s going to be our generations Hamlet; it’s going to be the role we all get a chance to play.

Do you enjoy playing Hulk or Banner more?

I love them both… they’re my babies!

Why is Banner so reluctant to join the Avengers?

Well in the past he’s been known to cause a bit of a mess. He doesn’t like that about himself. He’s not sure it’s going to be any better this is time around. He’s the only hero who doesn’t want what he has. It’s caused him a lot of problems and at this point in his personal journey there’s a lot of sadness about the life he never got to have. There’s at least one moment where he references having a family and that was something Joss and I definitely talked a lot about. He’s not a sad sack kind of character, but there’s definitely a certain melancholy because of the situation he’s in. He’s never got to have a family or a woman, someone soft and cuddly!

How important was Joss Whedon in convincing you to join the team?

I’ve said this before… there are a hundred reasons why this movie shouldn’t work and one reason why it does… Joss Whedon.  From the very beginning it was a very collaborative process. In our first meeting he sat there with a notepad and took down all the ideas I had for doing things.

For example when we first meet the Hulk he’s in the slums of Calcutta. When Joss asked me where do you think Banner is I said I think he goes to the one place in the world where there’s so much human suffering that he can’t for a second feel bad about his own situation.

What was your experience of filming like?

It’s strange, I made my parts of the movie completely by myself as far as the Hulk goes. I spent some time on set with the cast but for all the fighting it’s motion capture and CGI. I was doing that by myself with the geniuses at ILM.

The first time I got into my motion capture suit it was pretty unflattering. I call it the man cancelling suit! You stick out everywhere you shouldn’t and don’t stick out anywhere you should.  But then I met with another animator and we just wrestled and fought for two and a half hours. It’s the best job in the world. As physically demanding as it was, It was also a blast!

How does it feel when you did get on set with all your other co-stars?

I looked at them and it’s like “Oh my God what am I doing here? I’m like the only one who doesn’t belong.” That seemed to be how I felt through most of the shooting which actually worked really well for Banner.

Where would you like to take the Hulk for further adventures?  Do you have any ideas?

With the producers blessing I’m going to try and get Joss Whedon in a room to work out what could be a new standalone Hulk movie.


Leave A Comment