ByMatthew Chapman, writer at Creators.co
Male. Australian. Nerd. Twitter: shuey1984
Matthew Chapman

Actor, director, producer and all-round good guy Mark Ruffalo is busy, to say the least! He has an extensive list of credits to his name, encompassing both Hollywood blockbusters like Spotlight & Now You See Me, and indie films like The Kids Are Alright & Infinitely Polar Bear.

His biggest role to date may very well be that of Bruce Banner a.k.a The Hulk, who made his first appearance in 2012's #TheAvengers before going on to star in Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron and in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.

Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

But this talented actor does a lot beyond his blockbuster resume; here are 7 awesome, little-known facts about this fan-favorite #Marvel actor.

1. His First Role Was In An Acne Commercial

Most celebrities work other jobs whilst they try to break into show business; Michelle Pfeiffer worked as a cashier, George Clooney was a shoe salesman and Jennifer Aniston was a telemarketer. Mark Ruffalo is no different, and worked as a bartender for nearly a decade before he was discovered.

In 1989, as well as making his first screen appearance on the CBS Summer Playhouse, Mark starred in a commercial for Clearasil DoubleClear.

2. A Brain Tumor Put the Brakes On His Career

Image: Touchstone Pictures
Image: Touchstone Pictures

After completing The Last Castle and about to start work on Signs, Mark had to drop out when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor: an acoustic neuroma, specifically. After surgery and testing, the tumor was found to be benign, but left him with a partial facial paralysis and deaf in his left ear; he only recovered from the paralysis.

The role went to Joaquin Phoenix.

3. He Landed An Infamous Role

Image: Warner Independent Pictures
Image: Warner Independent Pictures

Ruffalo was soon back on his feet —in fact, has set to play murderer Perry Smith in Infamous. When prior engagements prevented him for doing so, Mark recommend 007 himself, Daniel Craig, for the role.

See also:

4. He's His Own Double Act!

Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

While Bruce Banner has been played by numerous actors over the years, Mark is the only actor to play both #Hulk and Bruce Banner in the same movie. He performed the Hulk live on set via performance capture. The Hulk's voice was provided by melding together the voices of Ruffalo, Lou Ferrigno, Christopher Boyes (the sound editor) and two people from New Zealand!

Additionally, Ruffalo's Hulk is the first ever Hulk, live action or animated, to have clearly defined chest hair!

5. Ruffalo Is Also An Acclaimed Director

Image: Maya Entertainment
Image: Maya Entertainment

Mark made his directorial debut with the film Sympathy for Delicious, a film about a DJ who gets paralyzed and looks to faith healing for a cure.

The film starred Christopher Thornton, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, Orlando Bloom, Noah Emmerich, Ruffalo himself and it went to Sundance Film Festival in 2010, where Mark won the Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

6. Mark Ruffalo's Son Is Following In His Father's Footsteps

Image: The Weinstein Company
Image: The Weinstein Company

While Mark has three children with his wife, it's his only son, Keen, that could be seen in Begin Again. He is one of the children playing in the alley when they record the first live song outside.

7. His Prop Game Is On Another Level

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

For his role as David Schultz in Foxcatcher, as well as gaining 30lbs for his role and participating in wrestling training that was so intense that both he and Channing Tatum cried after their final practice, Mark was given David's actual glasses by his wife, Nancy.


I think Mark Ruffalo may very well be one of the best actors in the business at the moment! He's done some brilliant work, including some of my personal favorites like 13 Going On 30, The Kids Are All Right, Now You See Me and his role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, just to name a few.

And now we'll leave you with this iconic piece of Mark Ruffalo cinematic history!

What are your favorite Mark Ruffalo films? Comment below.