- Rob Bilott, the lawyer Mark Ruffalo plays in "Dark Waters," told Insider that Ruffalo's portrayal of him in the film shocked his kids when they watched the movie: "My kids said, 'Yeah you do do that!'"
- Bilott said that Ruffalo rang him after reading Nathaniel Rich's 2016 article in The New York Times, and the phone call was "enlightening."
- Ruffalo has been nominated for three Oscars so far, and Bilott loved his performance as him in "Dark Waters:" "I thought he was fantastic."
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Rob Bilott, the lawyer that Mark Ruffalo plays in "Dark Waters," told Insider that his kids were shocked at how accurate Ruffalo's portrayal of their father was when they saw the film.
"My wife and I and my three kids were watching it and my kids said 'yeah you do do that,'" Bilott told Insider. "The whole thing was surreal."
"Dark Waters" follows Bilott's real-life journey as a defense attorney taking on a huge chemical company in an environmental lawsuit that uncovers decades worth of pollution.
Bilott said that it was Nathaniel Rich's 2016 article in The New York Times, which the film is based on, that first attracted the attention of MCU star Mark Ruffalo.
Bilott said: "[Ruffalo] was surprised a story like this had happened yet he had never heard of it, and he was active in the environmental arena and the water arena and wanted to find a way to bring this story to a wider audience and make sure people were aware that this had happened and was still happening."
The lawyer said that Ruffalo's own environmental activism eased any worries he might have had about the production and that his lengthy phonecall with the actor was "enlightening."
"We talked for quite some time, we met, he came out and visited with my wife and my kids. He came to Parkersburg to meet some of the people involved as well. It was clear that he was really dedicated and passionate about this topic," Bilott said.
"He wanted to do it for the right reasons and to do it the right way, and to really show what it was really like not only for our family and for my firm but for the real people that were involved in that community — to show what they went through."
Ruffalo may be best known for his role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marve Cinematic Universe, but he is also a three-time Oscar nominee and is more than used to appearing in political and activism-minded films, too.
His Oscar nominations were all for best supporting actor, for the films "The Kids Are All Right," "Foxcatcher," and "Spotlight."
"Foxcatcher" has a link to "Dark Waters," with Ruffalo playing the wrestler David Schultz who was murdered by Jon DuPont (Steve Carell), while Ruffalo's character Bilott takes on DuPont in the environmental case in "Dark Waters."
Needless to say, all of these experiences help Ruffalo give another stellar performance in "Dark Waters" and, in what is probably the most meaningful compliment of them all, the person he plays in the film loved his performance.
"I thought he was fantastic," Bilott told Insider. "We spent some time together and it was clear he was going to be doing this the right way. And really I couldn't think of anybody better to do it and he did a fantastic job doing it and was committed in trying to stick to character."
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