Avengers Assemble: Mark Ruffalo

Excitement has been building for The Avengers (which hits theatres on May 4, 2012) and I would like to say that there are none more eager to see it than me. To commemorate the gigantic blockbuster movie that is bound to set the new bar for superhero films, I’m going to be doing a weekly profile on the actors who will be filling (and have filled) the shoes of some of our favorite Marvel heroes… and villains.


Ruffalo always seemed to want to become an actor. He took classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and subsequently co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company, an Equity-Waiver establishment where he did yeoman work. His passion extended well beyond acting, taking on the roles of director, writer, producer to even running lights and building sets while adding to his resume. Despite positive reviews for his performances, he couldn’t break into mainstream television or movies, working as a bartender for nearly a decade just to make ends meet. In a chance meeting with playwright/screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, he was eventually cast in “This Is Our Youth” – a play that gained critical acclaim and brought him into the spotlight. Appearing in over twenty movies in the last twelve years, Ruffalo has been able to impress critics with his range of versatility and while not in high demand as some other Hollywood actors, his strong portrayals of smaller parts in big movies will keep him on the silver screen.

We have yet to see Ruffalo portray Bruce Banner/The Hulk. In the first incarnation of the movie, the character was played by Eric Bana and when it was ‘remade’ in 2008, it was Edward Norton who took on the role. Because of conflicts that occurred during the filming of The Incredible Hulk, Norton was overlooked to be featured in The Avengers. Rumors on the internet began claiming that it was about money, but ultimately, it was felt that he would not be able to be a ‘team player’ and so they went looking for someone who would be a better fit for an ensemble cast.

I’ve been pretty apprehensive about their choice since it was announced, feeling that Ruffalo didn’t have the acting chops to capture both the timid genius and the raging beast within, but after watching The Kids Are All Right (as per Brendon’s suggestion), my concerns have been eased a little bit. He brings a softer, almost cuddly sort of side of Banner (as can be seen from the trailers), and the team definitely needs a pacifist considering how often it looks like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) argue.

Want to see more of what he’s capable? Below, I’ve included a couple of his films that I think everyone should see.

Oscar Nominated Film: Zodiac
Best Known For: Shutter Island
Must Watch: The Kids Are All Right

What’s Next? Thanks for Sharing

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