NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Mark
Ruffalo has played characters ranging from a gay AIDS activist and a
sperm donor to a recovering sex-addict and an FBI agent and will
reprise his role as the Incredible Hulk in next year's "The
Avengers: Age of Ultron."
An Academy Award nominee for 2010's "The Kids Are All Right,"
Ruffalo, 46, is appearing in U.S. theaters in the musical film
"Begin Again" and will be seen later this year as an Olympic
wrestling champion in "Foxcatcher."
The versatile actor has also worked behind the camera on the
award-winning film "Sympathy for Delicious" and is the founder
of the non-profit group Water Defense, which works to keep water
Ruffalo, whose brother was murdered in his California home in
2008, spoke to Reuters about his aversion to violent roles, his
washed up record producer in "Begin Again" and a desire to
return to Broadway.
Q: In "Begin Again" you play Dan, who reassesses his
life. Did you identify with your character at all?
A: Only in the most minute way. A lot of times I think as
people, as actors, we have pretty much a universal understanding
of probably every aspect of what it is to be a human being at
some point in your life.
As an actor you are turning up the volume on different aspects
and qualities. A lot of Dan I understand but I am not as extreme
as him and it hasn't happened to me as extremely as him. But I
... understand what it is to have shifting priorities and feel
your fallibilities and your sense of mortality.
Q: The film is very musical. Have you ever played an
A: I was a bass player in a punk rock band in the 80s,
like a garage band, so I knew how to play the bass in a
rudimentary way. I'm not saying I am talented in any way.
Q: You've done a lot of indie as well as big studio
films. Which do you prefer?
A: They each have their drawbacks and they each have
their strong qualities. But essentially you are still doing the
same thing in each one. You are listening and responding in a
place as a character.
The power of a small movie is the concentration of energy over a
specified period of time and the relationship that you have with the
people you are working with is much more intimate. In a bigger movie
you have the luxury of more time, a bit better toys, more
preparation, more comfort but you lose a little bit of the intimacy
and the immediacy. I find myself trying to find a way to do both.
Q: Several years ago you moved your family from Los Angeles
to New York. Why do prefer New York?
A: Part of it is I grew up in a place that had water and
seasons and trees and a lot of greenery. Part of it is the open
nature of the culture here. It is a much more diverse culture. It is
not so film centric. It is not a one-industry town like Los Angeles
Q: You have played vulnerable, sensitive characters. Are
there other types of roles you would like to do?
A: I just want to keep going further and further beyond
myself ... The gun-play stuff just doesn't interest me. It is a
fantasy in a really destructive way that is very sexist and macho
and so I never really found myself being interested in that. I have
been a witness to what guns do to people in real life.
Q: Your career started on the stage. Do you want to go back
to the theater and Broadway?
A: I'm dying to go back to the stage and have an idea to take this
("Begin Again") to the stage ... I think it is a character that
would be great fun to play on the stage ...
There's a lot I want to do. I want to get back into directing. I
love that. I'm moving more into producing and I'm doing a lot of
work with the environment and renewable energy with Water Defense