Sympathy for Delicious is beloved actor Mark Ruffalo’s directorial debut, the offbeat tale of a paralyzed rock DJ faith healer, written by and starring his lifelong friend Christopher Thornton. Mark, Chris and fellow cast members Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney were kind enough to subject themselves to probing questions at the lovely and eclectically decorated Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo earlier this afternoon.
(on casting Laura) — I said, “Well, don’t you want to read it first?” She said, “No, Ruffie, I’m doing it.”
(on his first few acting gigs) — I booked a Clearasil commercial. I had terrible skin. I had cystic acne and they gave me a Clearasil commercial.
When we were raising the money, there was a foreign sales company that told me, “You’re a first-time director. That’s a negative. But you have a name as an actor. That’s a positive. So if you both direct and act in the movie, you’ll be at zero. You’ll cancel yourself out.” It was veiled blackmail.
I was running around back and forth in the production office and Laura had just flown in. She pulled me aside and said, “Ruffie, do you know what you’re doing?” I said, “Yeah, of course I do. I mean, it’s the first time I’m directing, but — ” and she said, “No, not directing, acting. Have you been able to work on your part?” I said, “…No. I haven’t had time.” She said, “Why don’t you come over this weekend and we’ll go through all the scenes together.”
(on his Oscar nom) — When I’m watching trailers and it says, “Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo,” that’s new. I’ve always not been that. It certainly hasn’t changed the parts I’ve been getting yet. I remember asking Michelle Williams, “Hey, so has this changed anything for you?” and she goes, “No.”
You make a movie three times. You make it in the script. You make it when you shoot. You make it when you edit. And you’re remaking it each time. But at some point, the story takes a life of its own and demands its own things. As a director, you hope that you’ll tune your ear to the story in such a way that it begins to guide you. And in a way, to service the material is to keep reducing, reducing, reducing down to the essential.
(on directing again) — Honestly, it’s really all I wanted to do after we finished shooting. I really wasn’t savoring going back into acting. It actually comes a lot easier to me than acting. I don’t know if it’s any good, but it does feel a lot easier and I really enjoyed it. I’m hoping I’m afforded the opportunity to keep doing it.
You can read the whole article here at the source. Sympathy for Delicious opens in NY and LA this Friday, April 29, 2011.