Why the Joss Whedon Criticism Makes Him Sad & The Other Best Answers From Mark Ruffalo's Reddit AMA
Mark Ruffalo did a Reddit AMA Wednesday to talk about fracking, the water crisis, and all things Hulk. He clearly had a lot of fun, which is the very best thing we can hope for in these AMAs, and he also gave up a lot of information about himself. Like that his favorite food is eggplant parmigiana and yes, given the opportunity, he WOULD fight Santa. You know, the important stuff. Here, though, are his nine best answers.
9. What makes Mark Ruffalo angry?
8. Any advice on working in the film industry?
Be respectful to those around you at all times. Do your work better than anyone. Be serious about your work. Be damn good when it your turn at bat which means being well prepared.
7. What is his favorite book? (Note: This answer is included in the Best Of simply because I F*CKING LOVE WALLY LAMB.)
My favorite book? Oh man, that’s tough!
These questions are always so hard for me to answer.
Right now, my favorite book is Wally Lamb’s I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, which I’m working with him to make into a television show.
And I’ve been inspired by it because of its message of forgiveness for ourselves, and our past.
6. Besides Hulk, who is his favorite Avenger?
Not including the Hulk?
Black Widow. I think she’s badass.
5. How did he like working with Rian Johnson on Brothers Bloom?
Loved working with Rian. He is an incredibly gifted film maker and a really fine man. I hope he has a place for me in the new StarWars. Knock knock, Rian.
4. Were he to suddenly turn into the Hulk, what would he smash?
Uh…I would smash, oh man! I’m in my Banner entity right now, and I don’t think I could smash anything.
3. Ruffalo mentioned at the start of his AMA that he brought along Scott Smith, the chief scientist from Water Defense. So what does Hulk have to say about the water crisis in California (and beyond)?
Well, clearly we are gonna have to re-think the way we use water. And how much we use. In a lot of places, because of climate change, the days of endless water are no longer available to some regions. So water is clearly becoming a precious commodity. It actually always has been, but we’ve always had it in such abundance that we’ve forgotten to prioritize it the way it deserves. By moving to renewable energy, we’ll be able to save trillions of gallons of water that are used in either creating steam, to power turbines, in our coal / gas-powered energy power plants, hydro-fracking, or by steam stimulation, or by tar sands extraction. All of these extraction methods use enormous amounts of fresh water. By moving to a renewable energy paradigm, all of that water will become available to us, instead of needing to be disposed of as a toxic waste by deep-well injecting it and taking it from the water table forever.
And thank you for being a fan. I’m YOUR fan.
2. What was his favorite Age of Ultron scene?
My favorite scene is - Bruce is the one person who, it’s interesting, he’s a pacifist. He wants to settle things without relying on violence, or the Hulk. But clearly, in this world that they’re living in, that’s not really happening. So he’s deeply conflicted. And I think we’re all conflicted about that particular issue. And I think that’s why it resonates so deeply with people. We all understand the power of anger. But we also have in our nature decency and human kindness. And these two things butt up against each other in us, and create a conflict, and that’s universal. That’s the same with every human being around the world.
So I think that’s one reason why the Banner/Hulk paradigm, or character, really resonates with people.
One of my favorite scenes, honestly, was just the superheroes hanging out, drinking beers, having a party and goofing off with Thor’s hammer! That’s classic Joss Whedon, and those moments when we see our superhumans just being human are really, I think, some of my favorite moments in the movie. And I think it’s part of the reason why the movie worked so well, is because Joss Whedon really understands that, and is interested in that himself.
1. And finally, on his thoughts on the criticism of Joss Whedon’s Black Widow he issued these— what may be the most kind, evenhanded, and insightful words ever to grace Reddit.
I think it’s sad. Because I know how Joss feels about women, and I know that he’s made it a point to create strong female characters. I think part of the problem is that people are frustrated that they want to see more women, doing more things, in superhero movies, and because we don’t have as many women as we should yet, they’re very, very sensitive to every single storyline that comes up right now. But I think what’s beautiful about what Joss did with Black Widow - I don’t think he makes her any weaker, he just brings this idea of love to a superhero, and I think that’s beautiful. If anything, Black Widow is much stronger than Banner. She protects him. She does her job, and basically they begin to have a relationship as friends, and I think it’s a misplaced anger. I think that what people might really be upset about is the fact that we need more superhuman women. The guys can do anything, they can have love affairs, they can be weak or strong and nobody raises an eyebrow. But when we do that with a woman, because there are so few storylines for women, we become hyper-critical of every single move that we make because there’s not much else to compare it to. So I know Joss really well. I know what his values are. And I think it’s sad, because in a lot of ways, there haven’t been as many champions in this universe as Joss is and will continue to be. And I know it hurts him. I know it’s heavy on him. And the guy’s one of the sweetest, best guys, and I know him - as far as any man can be a champion for women, he is that. So it’s been a little disheartening. But I also see how much people love that aspect of it. There’s an equal amount of people who find the love interest between Banner and Black Widow to be a big standout. And it’s very satisfying to people. So it’s a movie. People are going to have their opinions. And that’s actually a great thing. The fact that this is a debate that’s coming out of this movie is probably a positive thing. I just don’t think that people should get personal with Joss, because he really is - of anyone - an advocate for women. He’s a deeply committed feminist.
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