Mark Ruffalo has never been one to shy away from controversy.
The 47-year-old has long been one of Hollywood’s most outspoken actors, particularly when it comes to the environment. For the last few years, he’s been on a public crusade against fracking — hydraulic fracturing for natural gas that many argue contaminates water sources — attending marches and criticizing Obama’s energy plan.
So it’s no surprise that now that there’s turmoil in Hollywood over computer hacking, Ruffalo is speaking out.
On Thursday, the actor was interviewed about the two Golden Globe nominations he’d received — one for his turn as an AIDS activist in HBO’s “The Normal Heart,” the other as a star wrestler in the dark drama “Foxcatcher.”
“Foxcatcher,” as it turns out, is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, the specialty label whose parent company is currently the target of a massive cyberhacking attack. Over the past few days, various e-mails between Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Amy Pascal and high-powered producer Scott Rudin have leaked out — many of which include barbed remarks aimed at industry talent like Angelina Jolie and Annapurna Pictures founder Megan Ellison.
Ellison, whose company funded “Foxcatcher,” was reportedly referred to in particularly disparaging words by Rudin. Which didn’t sit well with Ruffalo.
“It’s more like holding up a mirror to those people saying those things than what Megan Ellison is like,” said the actor, speaking from London, where he is shooting the sequel to “Now You See Me.” “I would make 100 movies with her. I love her and she’s risky and her risks pay off. There’s a different kind of film being made in America because of her and they’re not really inside the system. A lot of disruption is coming to light.”
The catty name-calling that has been unveiled over the past few days is nothing new to the actor, who said he’s often encountered misconduct in Hollywood.
“They don’t like talent,” he said, seemingly referring to studio executives and the like. “There’s been a huge disrespect to what the talent brings. Where does the value really lie? In the people making the deals or the people making stories? There’s been a perversion of that with agents and managers and producers.”
Describing 2014 as a “great time of revelation,” Ruffalo said the Sony hack, the CIA torture papers and the racial tensions in the country were all signs of how “duplicity doesn’t stand anymore.”
“Ultimately, we need a correction, and that’s what this time is,” he said. “Whether it’s the CIA or the perversion of our values in the material world — do we see human beings as animals who are disposable with these racial issues? It’s all coming to light. All of these things are related.”