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Mark Ruffalo: My dad had Hulk anger

Published 27/04/2015

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo found having a brain tumour gave him a lesson in "fallibility and mortality".

The 47-year-old actor plays the iconic comic book character in the Avengers franchise, currently wreaking havoc on the big screen in second instalment Age of Ultron.

It wasn't difficult for Mark to get into the fierce mindset for the role as he simply reminisced about his father's antagonistic antics.

"I remember distinctly, when my dad used to get angry at me as a kid, I thought he was the Hulk, he just wasn't green. He was red - a red Hulk," he recalled to Rolling Stone. "Because he had those heavy eyebrows, and the dark hair, and veins popping out of his neck, and his hands were like these fists, and I would be like, 'He's turning into the Hulk! Put a book in your pants!' He wasn't physical, but he was so f**king intense. So he's in there. My understanding of rage has got a deep connection to that."

Mark himself has had some difficult moments over the years; in 2001 he discovered he had a brain tumour, just ahead of the birth of his first child with wife Sunrise Coigney. While it turned out to be benign, it did leave half of his face paralysed for a long time. He's now left with no hearing in his left ear, but at the time he lost out on a few more things, such as a role in 2002 movie Signs to Joaquin Phoenix.

"I literally begged [director] M. Night Shyamalan to let me do that part anyway, even with the paralysed face," Mark recalled. "You start making deals: 'OK, whoever, whatever - take my hearing but don't take me away from my kid.' That's a heavy moment to happen at 30 years old. But it was a blessing in disguise. I got a lesson in fallibility and mortality, you know, ten years, 15 years ahead of my peers."

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