Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mark Ruffalo Talks Hulk

Mark Ruffalo sat down in a recent interview with IGN to chat exclusively about his upcoming role as the Hulk in The Avengers and share his thoughts on the just announced live-action Hulk TV series:
IGN: Has there been anything in your career to prepare you for a role like Hulk in The Avengers? The built-in fanbase, the instant scrutiny. I can't imagine anything short of taking on one of the biggest roles in theater that will have more sets of eyes on it. Not to get you nervous.

Mark Ruffalo: It's like doing a sex scene. It's like doing a sex scene with 20 total strangers standing around and someone telling you how you can do it better. All eyes are on you, right?

IGN: You're still shooting in the spring?

Ruffalo: In April.

IGN: What can you possibly do to prepare for a role like this besides just learn your lines? How the hell do you prepare to play the Hulk?

Ruffalo: You dust off. You go back. I think you go right back to the beginning and dust off your first issue of Avengers and I've been doing that. I've been watching the 100 hours of Bill Bixby's Hulk. And I've been really thinking about the inception, the original motivation of that character and why they came up with that character. He's a cross between Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein. I'm finding a lot of stuff there. And I'm actually going to be physically playing the Hulk. No other actor's ever done that. So I've been getting into Tai Chi and Pilates and doing a lot of movement stuff. I don't know what I want to do with it exactly, but I've been working physically to bring the leviathan alive.

IGN: I know you're still preparing for the role and things can change, but how do you even go about playing repressed rage without seeming too muted? It's a tough challenge.

Ruffalo: Rage is an intense thing. It's big, it's huge. It's your whole body, and so I'm not going to compare myself to any other Hulks. I just know that I want that rage to be as real as possible. I want that when he goes off that you feel it in me. That it happens to me first and then it becomes Hulk. I don't think it's simultaneous. It's interesting. It takes some people quite a bit to get to rage.

IGN: You don't strike me as angry guy. You seem pretty chill and likable. Is it going to be tough for you to find that rage?

Ruffalo: No. (laughs) If you knew me as a younger actor -- or even in What Doesn't Kill You that guy's able to access rage and he dragged that guy out of his car. I've heard some of the fans and I totally respect them and I hear their concern about Mark Ruffalo being a nice guy, but I assure you just like everybody else I have my very dark side. Maybe more because I'm an actor. That's not what I'm really worried about. What I'm worried about is bringing some spark of originality and spontaneity to that character. He's the only one who doesn't want to be there [in the Avengers] really. Everyone else is sort of digging on their super powers and he's the only one who doesn't want to be there, which could be an incredibly uninteresting person to spend two hours with. (laughs)

IGN: Have you been instructed at all by producer Kevin Feige or Marvel about what particular run of the comics to read? You mentioned the Bixby TV series, but it seems like the movies are drawing more from the Ultimate comics.

Ruffalo: Obviously, where he lives and breathes is the last generation of comics. World War Hulk and that's really the modern version of it. In those comics he's mostly Bruce Banner. He doesn't change into the Hulk all the time. I'm waiting to get the finished draft of the script because I don't know what I'm going to be doing until I get that, but I'm hoping that he's just going to be a dynamic, nuanced character.

IGN: There have been many iterations of Hulk. The gray Hulk, the talking Hulk. Is yours going to be a speaking, thinking one or just more of a pure primal force?

Ruffalo: I don't know. We ended the last Hulk with him smiling and you feel like he's getting control of it. And I don't know how deep we're gonna get into that, but my general feeling is for Bruce Banner/the Hulk and what I hope we talk about is that Bruce Banner is slowly but surely -- it's like riding a wild mustang. At some point you do start to get it a little but under control. And like I said, I don't know what the final script's gonna be, but we've talked a lot about him at some point being able to penetrate his consciousness with the consciousness of the goliath.

IGN: They've announced that Guillermo del Toro's doing a live-action TV series of the Hulk. It sounds almost like a prequel to what you guys are doing in Avengers. What are your thoughts on there being another live-action iteration of the Hulk at the same time as yours?

Ruffalo: Dude, it's like my generation's Hamlet. It looks like we're all gonna get a shot at it. I guess the more the merrier, you know?

IGN: At least you'll be tuning into it, I guess.

Ruffalo: Yeah!