Mark Ruffalo on the 'dehumanising' nature of acting with CGI as Hulk

Out of all the Avengers, perhaps Hulk has changed the most.

Initially played by Edward Norton (himself taking over the role from Eric Bana), the super-sized green hero has since 2012’s The Avengers arguably been the part of Mark Ruffalo’s career so far. And, though once split between an endearingly nerdy scientist and a brutal monster, the Hulk has now reconciled these two aspects so that the charming geek reigns supreme, but is permanently embodied in his huge, CGI alter-ego.

As Ruffalo reprises his role to guide a younger female variant on his character in the Disney+ show She-Hulk, he reveals how the character has changed over the last decade, and what it’s like working in all that mo-cap.

You’ve been playing The Hulk for a decade now. What is he getting up to here?

We’ve always seen Hulk in these intense situations and now we see him just living his life. How does a Hulk live? How does he get through the doorway? How does he not ruin his furniture? What do his meals look like? How big does his toilet have to be?

Is there any overlap at this point between the two of you?

It was always interesting to me to see those parts of you that are so disparate and in conflict with each other. That was what I always loved about Hulk. Even when I was a little kid, I’d go into a rage and then afterwards I’d be like, “Oh, why did I break my model? I just trashed my favourite toy.”


So I really related to the Hulk as a kid and it’s been the same way through my life – you wrestle with anger and self-destructive behaviour and then, being left with your more wise self, you think, ‘Man, what was I doing?’

You’ve been acting in CGI for ages now. Does it get easier?

I was there at the inception of it, in a lot of ways — I mean, behind Andy Serkis – but consistently doing it, so I know it pretty well and know how it’s developed. I know how to act inside that bubble, which can be a little dehumanising at times. Sometimes the technology starts to take the front seat when it should really be the performance and how we bring our humanity to that very austere environment.

Is there too much Marvel content?

It’s not something I worry about. I understand that these things run their course and then something else comes along. But the thing Marvel has done well is that, inside the MCU, just as they do with comic books, they let a director or an actor sort of recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness.

Marvel generally lets them bring that to the material. If you watch a Star Wars, you’re pretty much going to get the same version of Star Wars each time.

It might have a little bit of humour. It might have a little bit of different animation. But you’re always, really, in that same kind of world. But with Marvel you can have a whole different feeling even within the Marvel Universe.

She-Hulk premieres on Wednesday August 18 on Disney Plus.

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