A Minute With: Mark Ruffalo on mixing it up in acting and film

Wed Jul 9, 2014 8:04am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Mark Ruffalo has played characters ranging from a gay AIDS activist and a sperm donor to a recovering sex-addict and an FBI agent and will reprise his role as the Incredible Hulk in next year's "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

An Academy Award nominee for 2010's "The Kids Are All Right," Ruffalo, 46, is appearing in U.S. theaters in the musical film "Begin Again" and will be seen later this year as an Olympic wrestling champion in "Foxcatcher."

The versatile actor has also worked behind the camera on the award-winning film "Sympathy for Delicious" and is the founder of the non-profit group Water Defense, which works to keep water clean.

Ruffalo, whose brother was murdered in his California home in 2008, spoke to Reuters about his aversion to violent roles, his washed up record producer in "Begin Again" and a desire to return to Broadway.

Q: In "Begin Again" you play Dan, who reassesses his life. Did you identify with your character at all?

A: Only in the most minute way. A lot of times I think as people, as actors, we have pretty much a universal understanding of probably every aspect of what it is to be a human being at some point in your life.

As an actor you are turning up the volume on different aspects and qualities. A lot of Dan I understand but I am not as extreme as him and it hasn't happened to me as extremely as him. But I ... understand what it is to have shifting priorities and feel your fallibilities and your sense of mortality.

Q: The film is very musical. Have you ever played an instrument?   Continued...

Cast member Mark Ruffalo poses during a photocall for the film "Foxcatcher" in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, in this May 19, 2014 file photo.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files