12 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo spent his twenties drifting through what he estimates as 600 failed auditions, and later quit Hollywood twice – but these days, he seems to have it all figured out. Especially since he was belted by gamma rays. “As an actor, you can do everything,” says Ruffalo, 48, who’s following Avengers: Age of Ultron with a role as a bipolar dad in the indie drama Infinitely Polar Bear,opening in theaters today. “I grew up in the theater, and you could do a musical, a comedy, a tragedy. Those kind of boundaries don’t really exist – and so I put on the Hulk mask for a little while, or I put on the Begin Again mask for a little while.”

Hanging out in a West Village coffee house and in Central Park in his interview for our Hulk cover story, Ruffalo had plenty to say: Here’s more from the conversation.

Playing the Hulk changed everything
“I’m like a Depression-era person, as far as acting goes,” he says. “It’s sort of like, grab it while you can and make the most of what’s in front of you. The first Avengers opened up a host of things that I’ve been struggling to get made for a long period of time. It created this whole, sort of, avalanche of work. And then I was kinda like, “You know what, you’re 45, this is the pocket, now. So I was also like, I want to really get a nice body of work out there to really open up the margins of how I’m perceived, you know?” [more at source]