Hulk Actor Mark Ruffalo Talks How 'Dehumanizing' CGI Acting Can Be And Whether There Are Too Many Marvel Movies And TV Shows

Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk) in The Avengers
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Mark Ruffalo has been playing Bruce Banner, a.k.a. The Hulk, for about a decade at this point. And now, the Avengers actor isn't shying away from discussing the more challenging parts of acting in a mega movie franchise that has sparked a cinematic universe spanning nearly 30 films (and counting) along with a growing number of TV shows. This includes the "dehumanizing" CGI acting he has to do in his fan-favorite role.

Due to his character often being “hulked out," Mark Ruffalo is used to wearing a onesie while acting as the gamma-powered hero. He does this so that talented CGI digital artists can animate the Hulk during post production. However, according to the What If…? star, this isn’t always easy for the acting process. In an interview with Metro, the Marvel star reflected on his CGI experience in the wake of reprising his character in the 2022 Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. He says of CGI:

I was there at the inception of it, in a lot of ways — I mean, behind Andy Serkis – but consistently doing it, so I know it pretty well and know how it’s developed. I know how to act inside that bubble, which can be a little dehumanizing at times. Sometimes the technology starts to take the front seat when it should really be the performance and how we bring our humanity to that very austere environment.

This experience must be incredibly difficult for an actor, especially one like Mark Ruffalo, who has Oscar nominations for his roles in films like The Kids Are All Right, Foxcatcher, and Spotlight. He must have to adjust to a completely different style of acting when lending his talents to an MCU project. In many cases, the actor has to visualize what an entire set or character is supposed to look like, in addition to fully embodying a unique hero himself.

During the interview, another widely discussed question was brought up: are there too many Marvel movies and TV shows? Many people believe that the MCU is beginning to become inaccessible, due to the vast amount of content available. However, Ruffalo sees the quantity of content to be a positive, saying: 

It’s not something I worry about. I understand that these things run their course and then something else comes along. But the thing Marvel has done well is that, inside the MCU, just as they do with comic books, they let a director or an actor sort of recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness.

Marvel Studios is definitely changing up its style as it expands its multi-billion-dollar universe. The company has brought in directors like Sam Raimi, Jon Favreau, and Taika Waititi to contribute to its mythology, and all of have very specific visual styles. This year, Waititi returned to direct Thor: Love and Thunder, his second film in the franchise after 2017's Ragnarok.

Whether or not the MCU hype train is slowing down is still up for discussion but, regardless, the company behind it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel made many announcements about upcoming projects. This includes 11 movies in the next 3 years, along with 9 TV shows for Disney+. So fans, I’d start catching up on anything you’ve missed now and, if you don't have a Disney+ subscription yet, you'll want to get one.

As for Mark Ruffalo, you can catch him in the new She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series streaming August 18th, 2022 exclusively on Disney+, along with other MCU fare. To keep up to date with what's coming up in the franchise, check out CinemaBlend's guide of upcoming Marvel movies. And those looking for Ruffalo in non-Marvel content can see him when he stars in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, which is slated for release later this year. 

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.