Mark Ruffalo Reveals What “Scared” Him About His Role

Mark Ruffalo reveals he was nervous about making a comedy.

Mark Ruffalo is known for many roles ranging from Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to characters appearing in Academy Award-nominated films. Throughout his career, Ruffalo has been nominated three times for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performances in The Kids Are Alright, Foxcatcher, and Spotlight. Thanks to Ruffalo’s performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, there’s a chance he could be getting his fourth nod in the category. Recently, Ruffalo was joined by his Poor Things co-star, Willem Dafoe, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. During the chat, Ruffalo revealed why he was originally “scared” to take the part. 

“I thought the script was amazing, but also, it really scared me. I was like, ‘Are you sure this is the part you want me to read for?'” Ruffalo shared. “I read it and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I could pull this off.’ Gladly, I was proven wrong by Willem.” 

“I haven’t done a lot of comedy,” Ruffalo added. “But we had this rehearsal and we got to really play and goof off; I found a lot of stuff in there. He was egging me on all the time.”

“He was making me laugh all the time!” Dafoe added

“I was a total sucker for it,” Ruffalo continued. “I just only wanted to make him laugh, and so I was pushing it more and more. He would be like, ‘Okay, you’re really going to do that?’ And I did!” 

Willem Dafoe Reveals How Emma Stone Helped Get Him To Join Poor Things:

While Dafoe may have helped Ruffalo get comfortable with his character, it was Emma Stone who helped convince Dafoe to join Poor Things.

“I always remember when Emma and Yorgos called me together,” Dafoe explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “They just laid it out pretty much. And I didn’t really know Emma … I’d seen her around when they were promoting The Favourite, which I really loved. When they described what it was, it was a no-brainer. I said, yes.”

“When we got there, Yorgos does a very curious thing that I think some people have talked about, but it’s significant. We had a rehearsal period, and it’s a rehearsal period where we don’t necessarily apply ourselves to the scenes,” he continued. “We do theater games and fool around and basically he makes the company and he’s very skilled at that because he’s a guy that is really impressive in his knowledge of many things and many different disciplines. So you really get dialed in about what he needs and wants to do. And when someone’s really on top of their game like that, you want to be part of it. You want to help them do what they need to do.”

What Is Poor Things About?

You can read the description of Poor Things here: “From filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and producer Emma Stone comes the incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.”

Poor Things is now playing in theaters. 

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