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Mark Ruffalo admits he wasn't the obvious choice to play The Hulk in Joss Whedon's star-studded superhero blockbuster, The Avengers. But the actor says he found some similarities between himself and the raging green monster.
He's in the red chair tonight, along with author A.J. Jacobs.
George Stroumboulopoulos: You did something that I haven't seen other people do when they played Hulk which was - when you are Banner, you are uncomfortable.
Mark Ruffalo: Ya - you know - he has this thing that can go off at any minute and cause a lot of damage and I see Banner as this amalgamation of contradictions. You know, there's some interesting things about Banner and Hulk that I can find parallel to, to my own life. Running away from Hollywood - the beast, the big, green, beast.
George: Why did you go away? Because your career was building.
Mark: Well - I lost my brother and had a moment of disillusionment with Hollywood. And just the need to recalibrate, rethink, re-understand.
Since moving to from LA to upstate New York in 2008, Mark has become a passionate spokesperson against hydraulic hydrofracking - even establishing his own environmental initiative - WaterDefense.org. In this clip, the actor explains how he came to find his activist voice.
George Stroumboulopoulos: You've now become in a bit of a way, a spokesperson. You're stepping up for issues in your own backyard, aren't you?
Mark Ruffalo: Yea - well when I moved up to upstate New York, I unwittingly stepped into - moved to a place where they wanted to do hydrofracking. I started going to the communities where this was being done, and there was no one there to save these people. This industry had been exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Superfund Act - there came that moment when well - are you who you say you are, Mr. Big Actor Man? Do you care about people? Are you really for the little guy?
GS: A lot of people answer yes, but I'm not willing to go that far for that question.
MR: That was my first response (laughs) and I didn't want to. And I fought against it. But I just kept turning out to be the only guy in the room.