Most of the other actors in this multi-cast film have worn superhero suits earlier. But Hollywood star Mark Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk in Marvel’s upcoming production, The Avengers, is entirely new to the gang. “I felt like the outsider. Everyone was in their cool costumes, and they all had some control over themselves and I (being the Hulk) didn’t,” jokes Ruffalo, who plays the role of Dr Bruce Banner when he’s not the rage monster in the film that releases in India on April 27, a week before it hits theatres in the USA. “I think Banner feels the same way too. He’s a little jealous and would like to know that he could also use this superpower for some good, but he’s never been able to do so up until then.”
Ruffalo’s character is seen hiding in Kolkata in the beginning of the movie, which is being distributed in India by UTV Motion Pictures. Although the actor didn’t visit the country himself to shoot the part, he does reveal that the plan was initially different.
“Joss and I were wondering, ‘so, where is Bruce Banner’, and I said, ‘I think he’s in a leprosy colony’. There is just so much suffering around him, that there is no possible way he could be angry. He can only be of service and grateful for his life,” he says, adding, “So it didn’t turn out to be a leprosy colony, but he’s in the slums in Kolkata, which I thought was a cool place to find him at, somewhere no one would expect him to be, a place where he could disappear. Anyone can, in those slums.”
However, playing the part wasn’t the only exciting deal for Ruffalo in this film. For the first time, he has not only enacted his role as Banner, but also The Hulk.
“We’ve done that using motion capture. I have done everything he does. One of the first things I’d asked was ‘will I be able to play The Hulk too’, and Joss said ‘absolutely’. To see me inside him, with my features and expressions sounded cool… and in contrast to Banner, who is this demure, quiet and introspective guy, was exciting,” says Ruffalo, who was well aware of the responsibility he was taking on when he signed the film.
“I made the mistake of going online and reading some fan boy responses to the announcement that I was playing (the part). That was a mistake. I will never do that again. I’ve never had a role more scrutinised and criticised even before I’d shot a single frame.”