Mark Ruffalo ‘did 500 push-ups a day’ while filming I Know This Much Is True

Mark Ruffalo did a series of push-ups before most takes on the set of HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True to help him get into the right mindset. The Avengers star lost 20 pounds (nine kilograms) to play the lean and wiry Dominick Birdsey for 17 w…

Mark Ruffalo did a series of push-ups before most takes on the set of HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True to help him get into the right mindset.

The Avengers star lost 20 pounds (nine kilograms) to play the lean and wiry Dominick Birdsey for 17 weeks of the production, before putting on 30 pounds (13 kilograms) to play Dominick’s twin brother Thomas, who suffers from schizophrenia.

Director Derek Cianfrance suggested the actor to did push-ups before a scene to get into the mindset of the stressed and breathless Dominick, and the technique worked so well Ruffalo ended up doing around 500 per day.

“Mark is the kind of actor where he’ll do anything. So, he dropped to the ground, he did about 35 push-ups, he came up, and he did this phone call scene and… he was a little out of breath, you know?” Cianfrance recalled to The Wrap. “He was smoking these cigarettes and struggling for his breath a little bit, and his chest was puffed out, and I noticed the vein in his neck was engorged. We finished the scene and I was like, ‘Hey, let’s do another take. Can you do another 50 push-ups?’

“We shot for 17 weeks and I would have Mark do push-ups – he was doing probably 500 push-ups a day. All the time between takes, it was always our way to get Mark into the zone as Dominick.”

To make matters worse, the 52-year-old was also embarking on a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet, so he was always “hangry” – hungry and angry – on set.

“I guess you could say he was always a little bit hangry,” Cianfrance quipped. “He was eating an egg white for breakfast and just starving. And he couldn’t eat for another three hours, and all he could eat then was a granola bar that had 120 calories or something, because he was on this strict diet. It created this guy Dominick who was just wiry and aggressive.”

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Mark Ruffalo struggled with yo-yo dieting for new HBO show

Mark Ruffalo struggled with having to lose and gain weight to play twin brothers in his new HBO show I Know This Much is True.The Spotlight actor plays a mentally ill man called Thomas Birdsey as well as his identical twin Dominick in the six-part mini…

Mark Ruffalo struggled with having to lose and gain weight to play twin brothers in his new HBO show I Know This Much is True.

The Spotlight actor plays a mentally ill man called Thomas Birdsey as well as his identical twin Dominick in the six-part miniseries which is based on Wally Lamb’s bestselling 1998 novel.

Ruffalo lost 20 pounds (nine kilograms) to play Dominick only to have to pile on more than 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) to play Thomas, who suffers from schizophrenia.

However, after thinking about the long-term effects the yo-yo dieting would have on his health, the Avengers: Endgame star decided to undertake the weight gain in a more sensible way.

“I gained and lost weight. I could have put on 30lbs, but because I am 53 trying to lose it again would probably take me the rest of my life!” he revealed during a video appearance on The Graham Norton Show. “Instead, I lost 20lbs to play one brother and then, when that was finished, I put on 30lbs. I went in both directions so there was a greater disparity and it was more healthy for me.”

And Ruffalo ruled out playing identical twins in the future, as the experience was too stressful.

“It was insane and I don’t know that I would do it again because it was such a massive undertaking. I went completely grey in the year I was working on it,” the two-time Oscar nominee laughed.

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Scarlett Johansson worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her as Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that sh…

Scarlett Johansson was worried Marvel fans wouldn’t like her interpretation of fictional superhero Black Widow.

The 35-year-old actress made her debut as former Russian super spy Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, but she was concerned that she didn’t fit the bill.

“When we did (Iron Man 2), I didn’t know if the audience would like my interpretation of the character,” she told Parade magazine, before noting that she wasn’t even the first choice to play the superhero.

After a “wonderful” meeting with Jon Favreau, who helmed Iron Man 2, the part went to Emily Blunt.

“I was really excited to work with him, so I said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime,'” Scarlett recalled, and after Emily had to bow out due to scheduling reasons, the role was hers.

“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice,” she laughed.

And it was while filming one particular scene in The Avengers back in 2012, alongside Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, that she realised she was part of something really special.

“It’s the iconic hero shot,” she said of the scene which sees the six original Avengers ready for battle in New York. “We were all thinking, ‘This is crazy!’ because these worlds were coming together. We’re still processing how much of an impact these movies have had.”

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Mark Ruffalo ate ‘bowls and bowls of oatmeal’ to gain weight for new TV role

Mark Ruffalo piled on the pounds for his new role in TV series I Know This Much Is True by eating “bowls and bowls of oatmeal”.The Avengers actor stars as twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in the new HBO miniseries, written and directed by Blue…

Mark Ruffalo piled on the pounds for his new role in TV series I Know This Much Is True by eating “bowls and bowls of oatmeal”.

The Avengers actor stars as twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in the new HBO miniseries, written and directed by Blue Valentine filmmaker Derek Cianfrance, and was required to gain weight to play the latter part.

In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, Ruffalo revealed that he tried to convince Cianfrance to let him use a fatsuit but instead he adopted a carb-heavy diet to help him gain two stone (12.7 kilograms) in the space of five weeks.

“I kept trying to get Derek to change the plan. I told him, ‘You can get really good fat suits now,'” the 52-year-old explained. “The strategy was just to eat a bunch of carbs – lots of pasta, bread, doughnuts, ice cream – all the stuff that makes me really puffy.”

However, the diet gave Ruffalo serious heartburn and indigestion so he ended up eating “bowls and bowls” of oatmeal because it was the only food that didn’t cause such a reaction.

“I got heartburn from almost everything. I had to sleep sitting up because I had such bad indigestion. In the end, all I could really keep down was oatmeal. So, I’d eat bowls and bowls of oatmeal, with butter, maple syrup, and heavy cream,” he shared. “I felt like a foie gras goose.”

I Know This Much Is True premiered in the U.S. on Sunday.

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Taika Waititi impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to Hulk role

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in…

Taika Waititi was impressed by Mark Ruffalo’s commitment to fully immersing himself in the role of the Hulk.

The three-time Oscar nominee reprised his role as Dr. Bruce Banner and his powerful green alter ego for the 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, in which he starred alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Tessa Thompson.

And the New Zealand native filmmaker was wowed by Ruffalo’s decision to perform all the motion capture work himself, rather than relying on a stand-in.

“He has very strong opinions about what Hulk would say and how he would say it,” Waititi told Variety. “People assume, ‘Oh, well it’s a CGI character. Why would an actor do the movements?’ But he insisted on doing all the work in motion capture…. All of that stuff is him, dressed in those ridiculous pyjamas that you have to wear with ping-pong balls on his head.”

While the third instalment of the Thor franchise saw Hemsworth reveal a more comic side to the Norse god, Waititi was also excited for Ruffalo to explore how Hulk had finally gained control and overtaken nerdy scientist Banner.

“He wanted to show that Hulk was driving the vehicle and Banner was left in the trunk,” he explained.

Ruffalo recently teased the idea of reprising his role as the Hulk, after it was revealed in Avengers: Endgame that Hulk and Banner had learnt to co-exist as a half-man, half huge green superhero.

“There’s nothing completely at a place where it’s a done deal,” he teased. “If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting.”

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Now You See Me 3 movie in the works

Now You See Me stars including Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco are reportedly returning for a third instalment in the heist franchise.It was announced on Wednesday that Lionsgate bosses had hired American Hustle co-writer Eric Warren Singer to pen the …

Now You See Me stars including Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco are reportedly returning for a third instalment in the heist franchise.

It was announced on Wednesday that Lionsgate bosses had hired American Hustle co-writer Eric Warren Singer to pen the follow-up to 2016’s Now You See Me 2, and the return of “key cast members” was teased in a statement released by the studio.

“Eric has always been fascinated with the fine art of deception and illusion in all of its forms and he came to us with a great story that takes the mythology of Now You See Me and pushes (collective of magicians) The Four Horsemen to a whole new level with our key returning cast and new characters,” Nathan Kahane, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said. “The Now You See Me franchise has been built on keeping the audience surprised and guessing. Any great magician knows, you can’t keep doing the same tricks. And Eric and his team of illusionists have something special up their sleeve for this new film.”

Now You See Me was released in 2013 and grossed more than $351 million (£282 million), with the follow-up, directed by Jon M. Chu, raking in $331 million (£266 million).

The previous instalments in the heist thriller franchise have starred Eisenberg, Franco, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, and Morgan Freeman.

Singer landed an Oscar nomination in 2014 for his work with David O. Russell on the screenplay for American Hustle, and also co-wrote the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, which is due out on 23 December.

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Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as Hulk

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey …

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.

The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey Jr. about the possibility of starring in the Marvel blockbuster as Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego.

Talking to Variety, the 52-year-old confessed he was terrified of playing the scientist on the big screen due to the extensive technology and special effects needed to transform him into the Hulk.

“I did try to talk them out of casting me. I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m the right guy, I’ve never done anything like this.’ Between Joss and Robert, they were pretty convincing that I could do it,” Ruffalo recalled, before admitting that he is still scared, even after playing the Hulk in four more Marvel movies.

“I was scared. I was really scared. I’m still scared. The technological aspect of it makes it really hard to work that way. I struggle with it all the time. But my motto is make fear your friend. Just keep pushing yourself into those places where you feel scared or challenged,” he added.

Don Cheadle, who plays James Rhodes and his superhero alter ago War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said the pair bonded during filming the Avengers franchise as they both had to wear motion capture suits.

“Mark and I get to share that misery,” Cheadle joked. “Everyone else is walking around in their cool clothes. Mark and I are walking around in these unitards with symbols and dots and balls attached all over them.”

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Mark Ruffalo open to playing Hulk in future Marvel projects

Mark Ruffalo is keen to reprise his role as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, in any future Marvel projects.The three-time Oscar nominee made his debut as the scientist with the angry alter ego in The Avengers back in 2012, and went on to star in the blockbu…

Mark Ruffalo is keen to reprise his role as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, in any future Marvel projects.

The three-time Oscar nominee made his debut as the scientist with the angry alter ego in The Avengers back in 2012, and went on to star in the blockbuster ensemble movies Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

In a new interview with Variety, Ruffalo confessed he’d love to play the Hulk once again, but the decision ultimately lies in the hands of Marvel bosses.

“There’s nothing completely at a place where it’s a done deal. There’s some talk of having Banner/Hulk show up in She-Hulk,” he explained, referencing the upcoming Disney+ series. “If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting. Right now, that’s about it. That’s all there is on the table.”

He also revealed that he’d like to have a standalone Hulk movie, following in the footsteps of Eric Bana and Edward Norton, who both fronted their own blockbusters while playing the green superhero.

“There’s an idea that I think could be really interesting. We’ve never really followed him into his life. He’s always kind of off on the side. He’s like the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Avengers,” Ruffalo joked, referencing the infamous side characters in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. “It’d be interesting to fill in all the blanks about what happened to him in between all these movies.”

And just to keep fans on their toes about the possibility of a future crossover between the Avengers and X-Men, following Disney’s merger with Fox, Ruffalo said he’d love to team up with one particular razor-clawed hero.

“Maybe Hulk and Wolverine could hook up,” he laughed.

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Taika Waititi: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t a run-of-the-mill movie’

Taika Waititi teased details about his upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder during an Instagram Live screening party on Thursday.The actor and filmmaker took to the platform to provide some light relief for fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, and was …

Taika Waititi teased details about his upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder during an Instagram Live screening party on Thursday.

The actor and filmmaker took to the platform to provide some light relief for fans amid the coronavirus lockdown, and was joined by Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson for a Thor: Ragnarok viewing session.

After the screening, the celebrated star hinted at some details about the sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, telling fans they are about four or five drafts into the writing process and insisting the sequel isn’t going to be a “run-of-the-mill” movie.

He joked: “It’s like 10-year-olds told us what should be in a movie and we said yes to every single thing.”

Tessa, who previously said she wants Valkyrie to be one of the first LGBTQ+ characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), added that she’s also read the latest draft.

Elsewhere, Taika confirmed his character Korg won’t have a romantic interest in the sequel because he was “deeply in love and lost that love along the line”, adding, “He doesn’t feel brave enough to find love again”.

However, he did reveal that Krog’s Kronan culture will be revealed and suggested the Space Sharks, also known as Starsharks, which appear in the original comic book series, will feature.

Viewers also got a surprise during the party when actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk, joined the session for a brief chat with his pal.

Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled to hit theatres on 18 February, 2022.

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Mark Ruffalo: ‘Kevin Feige almost quit Marvel Studios over representation issues’

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce …

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.

In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), recalled how Feige once told him that he had approached leaders at the company over concerns about the depiction of women in superhero movies and was so incensed by their reaction that he threatened to quit.

“When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow,'” Ruffalo shared. “And he’s like, ‘Ike (Isaac Perlmutter, Disney’s largest shareholder at the time) does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So, if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.'”

Feige’s passionate pitch eventually prompted a change in the studio, with Captain Marvel, the first female standalone movie in the MCU, fronted by Brie Larson, released last year.

And Ruffalo was full of praise for the Marvel boss, especially in relation to the way in which he is championing equality and diversity.

“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes, he changed the whole Marvel universe,” the 52-year-old explained. “We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that inclusive on that level.

“They have to, though. This is the f**king world.”

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