By Drew Taylor | The Playlist April 29, 2011 at 9:31AM
Says He Was Never Tipped For 'Cogan's Trade,' Reveals Brian Helgeland's 'Sidney Grimes' Fell Apart & Talks His Role As The Hulk In 'The Avengers'
EXCLUSIVE: Actor Mark Ruffalo is a busy man and jack of all trades. While the Academy-Award nominee meant to retire from acting in hopes of starting a directorial career with his latest, the indie pic, "Sympathy For Delicious" starring Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis, (no really), his cooler head prevailed and thankfully for audiences, The Kids Are All Right," was an excellent experience that made him decide he couldn't leave his vocation.
Since then, he's decided to mix it up and try anything. Anything being one of the biggest tentpoles of next year, Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" where he'll play Bruce Banner and The Hulk alongside the all-star cast of Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and many more.
But will he actually get to act alongside this cast or will he be in CGI-room far far away? That wouldn't be what the actor would have signed up for and he told us in a recent interview that he'll be alongside his cast the entire time. "No, no, no, I'll be doing all the Bruce Banner stuff with the other actors. And when I turn into the Hulk, I'll be doing all of that on set, in my suit. Not my Hulk suit but my little [mo-cap] reflector suit. And I'll do all of that and then they'll take that and do the motion capture."
So what about those persisting rumors that The Hulk will be one of the antagonists in "The Avengers." "I can't tell you that man! Are you kidding me?" he said, looking around the room for imaginary snipers and cameras. "This whole place would turn into a SWAT team attack!" So note to all journos, secrecy on the super-hero team-up film will likely stay all locked up.
But there was one film project that Ruffalo was willing to confirm. We'd recently heard rumors about his participation in the Scott Rudin-produced erotic drama "Red Light Winter, a play by Adam Rapp (a writer for "The L Word" and "In Treatment") about two thirty-something New Yorkers who go to Amsterdam to rekindle their friendship and get away from the serious dramas in their lives (break-ups and illnesses), but a run-in with a Red Light district prostitute, alters their lives forever. So when we posed the question to the actor, he said the project was definitely something he was eyeing.
"Yes. I want to do it," he said. "They're still putting that movie together, it's based on a play, I think it was nominated for a Tony a couple of years ago, on Broadway. And it's the story of a writer and his best friend, and a kind of crazy love triangle they get into."
Even more rumors. We had been told that was Ruffalo was circling Academy Award-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland's ("Mystic River" "L.A. Confidential") fourth directorial effort "Sidney Grimes" opposite Sean Penn (he's not confirmd and it's likely just an early offer) in a crime thriller about an ex-con/former police detective just out of prison seeks who revenge on the partner who got him locked up. While the script made the Black List in 2010, Ruffalo did confirm that he was once in talks, though it sounds like the project no longer in the cards. "Unfortunately no, that [project] kind of fell apart," was all he would allow. Damn, too bad. We've read that script and while it's a bit of another re-run at Helgeland's "Payback," it is pretty lean and mean, and we'd love it to hit the screen in some shape or form.
And as for those rumors that Ruffalo was going to be in the reportedly star-studded cast of "Cogan's Trade" alongside Brad Pitt? "No. Never. I wished I was!" he exclaimed. "But no." Sometimes the rumors are just too good to be true (and for further example, half those rumored people like Sam Rockwell, Bill Murray, Zoe Saldana, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin aren't in the film either).
Ruffalo's directorial debut, "Sympathy For Delicious" hits theaters this Friday in limited release. More from our interview tomorrow.