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Mark Ruffalo touches on Ed Norton controversy, compares Hulk to Hamlet


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: I haven’t seen a lot of direct quotes from Mark Ruffalo since the actor officially took over the role of Dr. Bruce Banner and his violent alter ego, The Incredible Hulk, from Ed Norton, so this interview posted over at EW has become a must-read for Marvel and comic book fans.

Of course, you know Ruffalo joined the assembled cast of Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” on stage at Comic-Con last weekend. He didn’t get to address the cheering crowd, just smile and pose with fellow cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Robert Downey Jr.

But when Ruffalo sat down with EW’s Jeff Jensen, he expressed some nerves about entering the fray, especially at Comic-Con.

“I realized I had some pretty big shoes to fill. Those were my heroes up there! I was a comic book fan growing up. I loved The Hulk and The Avengers — it’s just strange to be entering that world as an actor. I never would have imagined that before,” Ruffalo said.

“I was very, very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect,” he continued about Comic-Con. “That’s as close you’re going to get to being a rock star as an actor. The fans — they have very strong feelings toward their comic book heroes.”

And many of them had strong feelings about Norton continuing in the role. As for that controversy, Ruffalo took the high road and said, ” I’m a friend of Ed’s, and yeah, that wasn’t a great way for all that to go down. But the way I see it is that Ed has bequeathed this part to me. I look at it as my generation’s Hamlet.”

According to Ruffalo, the “Avengers” film starts shooting in the winter. It’s also interesting that he bypassed the previous “Hulk” films by Ang Lee and Louis Leterrier, and went back to Bill Bixby’s television work as his point of reference. A good idea, no doubt.

Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” will be in theaters in 2012.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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