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Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo photographed candidly

Mark Ruffalo Explains How Robert Downey Jr. Convinced Him To Play The Hulk

Gettyimages | VCG
By Chris Barilla

Since 2012, actor Mark Ruffalo has been well-known for his monumental role amongst the Marvel cinematic universe as Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk. While this role has come to define him in many respects as an actor today, Ruffalo recently shared to Jimmy Fallon candidly how he originally had some serious apprehensions about joining the Marvel cast, and that it took costar Robert Downey Jr. convincing him in 'Iron Man fashion' to accept the role that is now a cornerstone of his career.

Giphy | The Academy Awards

Downey and Ruffao originally sparked up a friendship while working together on the movie 'Zodiac.' It was after that stint that Downey initially approached Ruffalo with the idea of him playing the iconic superhero, which he originally said he was reluctant to take because of the immense shoes he would have to fill to play such an iconic role.

"I was scared, I didn’t know what I could add to what I already thought had been done so well before me," Ruffalo explained of his apprehensions.


"I’d only been doing indie movies up to that point, so I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m the right person for this," the actor continued to explain, showing how much his role as The Hulk was a departure from his previous acting endeavors.

Ruffalo would then make his debut in the first 'Avengers' film, continuing to reprise the coveted role any instance the character was needed in the MCU over the years, cementing him in modern public conciousness as The Hulk.

Mark Ruffalo photographed candidly
Wikimedia |

After explaining how Downey had been pivotal in getting him to accept the iconic role, Ruffalo shared that it was director Joss Whedon who had initially assured him at the time that he was the right fit for the role, but it was ultimately Downey coming through in true "Iron Man fashion" that convinced Ruffalo to accept the role.

Ruffalo explained the candid phone call that changed the trajectory of his career for the next decade in detail during the interview.

Mark Ruffalo poses for photographers
Gettyimages | Mike Coppola

"And then I got a call from Downey, it must’ve made it to him that I was hemming and hawing, and he just simply said: 'Ruffalo, let’s go. We got this,' in true Iron Man fashion," the actor explained, "And then after that, I was like, 'I guess I have to do it,'" Ruffalo said of the convincing phone call from his friend.

The Hulk actor further revealed that there would be an opportunity for him to reprise his role in the future, he just had to discuss it with Marvel.

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