Pissed Mark Ruffalo got cast as the Hulk? He wants to thank you

We loved Mark Ruffalo's performance as Dr. Bruce Banner/the Incredible Hulk in Marvel's The Avengers, but back when he was cast, people were not so kind. They didn't think this indie cinema star could pull it off, and they wanted Edward Norton back. Well, Ruffalo has a message for everyone who raged when his casting was announced: Thanks.

Ruffalo was well aware of the fan backlash after his name was announced as the new Banner for Joss Whedon's flick. He was also well aware that he was the third big-screen version of the character in less than a decade. Some actors would react to a mountain of expectation like that with cynicism, but Ruffalo says he only saw it as a challenge to overcome. Your fanboy rage was the perfect thing to get him going.

"I remember the fanboys—there was a lot of negative response to me playing that part early on, and I kind of liked that challenge," he said. "This one really scared me. It was something that I had never done, that I don't think anyone expected me to do."

Ruffalo took that "negative" response and spun it into an acclaimed performance, and now we're hearing that he's definitely sticking around the Marvel Movie Universe for a while. But if you still can't pry yourself away from the Norton version of the character, at least take heart in knowing there are elements of him in Ruffalo's version.

"We left the last Hulk—Ed's Hulk—he was sort of like, 'OK, this is who I am. I'm going to try and see if I can have some mastery over this,' so we end that movie with him meditating," Ruffalo said. "He's older now, and he's been on the run his whole life, and he's tired of fighting. ... He's got a world-weariness and a joyful participation in the sorrows of the living. He's an older Bruce Banner, and he's kind of coming to accept his fate."

(Via Hero Complex)

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