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Mark Ruffalo Tells SpeakEaasy About The Avengers Deeper Meaning

JANUARY 3, 2011

‘The Avengers’ Has a Deeper Meaning. Just Ask the Hulk

By Barbara Chai


Mark Ruffalo says the coming film, “The Avengers,” is an allegory for Americans.

“You have all these disparate egos, superheroes in this and that, and they refuse to give up some of their positions in order to make a more perfect union and to join the team,” Ruffalo says.

“That’s really what the whole movie is about: subjugating your own best interest momentarily to further that of the whole,” he says.

As Ruffalo sees it, the film’s message speaks to the times. “I didn’t know it a year ago that it was going to speak to so many of the issues we’re having here in the United States and throughout the world, the same kind of theme,” he says. The actor has been an activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement and the campaign against hydraulic fracturing.

Ruffalo plays Bruce Banner and the Hulk in “The Avengers,” a 3-D film by Joss Whedon about a group of superheroes who band together to save the planet. The Marvel Studios film will be released by Walt Disney Co. in May.

“These movies reach a lot of people, they’re our modern mythology,” Ruffalo says. He followed comic book superheroes as a kid. “I think a lot of the beliefs I have and cherish were fostered by the decency of our superheroes, and what they were about and what they were fighting for.”

Joe Wos, the executive director of the ToonSeum, a museum of comic and cartoon art in Pittsburgh, agrees that comics are a mythology for the modern age. “I do imagine people studying comics the same way we study Greek gods,” Wos says. “That’s one of the things about Hulk – he is human. He is one of us, an ordinary man put into extraordinary circumstances.”

Ruffalo, who watched every episode of the Hulk television series as a kid, said when he learned he got the role in “The Avengers,” he bought a boxed set of the series for himself and his 10-year-old son. “He was completely addicted. He totally got it,” Ruffalo says. “After the first episode he turned to me and said, “Papa, he’s so misunderstood!’”

Original Interview at SpeakEasy

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