Mark Ruffalo Almost Rejected Oscar-Worthy Film After “Rakish” Role Threatened to Ruin His Celebrity Image

Mark Ruffalo was initially hesitant to accept his role in Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things.

Mark Ruffalo Almost Rejected Oscar-Worthy Film After “Rakish” Role Threatened to Ruin His Celebrity Image


  • Mark Ruffalo is currently starring in Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things alongside Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe.
  • The actor was initially reluctant to play such a vile and heinous character but later took up the challenge.
  • His performance is now getting a lot of buzz and awards consideration.
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Mark Ruffalo is one of the most interesting actors to watch from his early work to his current projects. Although he is more popularly known for playing the Hulk in the MCU, projects like 13 Going on 30, Collateral, Shutter Island, Begin Again, Spotlight, and Zodiac have shown that he is such a gifted actor and can convey a varied range of emotions.

Mark Ruffalo in 2015's Spotlight
Mark Ruffalo in 2015’s Spotlight

The actor is back again with another acting performance that is garnering awards conversation. His devilish turn in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things has impressed everyone who has witnessed the film, However, Ruffalo was initially hesitant to take the role as the character was everything that one can’t be in the modern era.

Also read: Mark Ruffalo Slapped the Sh*t Out of Channing Tatum After He Bullied the Marvel Star in Wrestling Training For Months


Mark Ruffalo Was Hesitant to Play His ‘Instantly Cancellable’ Character In Poor Things

Mark Ruffalo and Emma Stone in Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things
Mark Ruffalo and Emma Stone in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things

Mark Ruffalo is currently starring in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things which was released on December 8, 2023. The film which also stars Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe has all the trademarks of a Lanthimos film which is full of weird symbolism in addition to an out-of-the-box idea and presentation. Ruffalo plays a lawyer named Duncan Wedderburn in the film.

In an appearance on the recent LA Times Actors Round Table, Ruffalo opened up about his initial hesitation in accepting the role. According to him, the character was an irredeemably cruel man who was narcissistic and misogynistic. He was scared and didn’t believe that he could pull off such a heinous character. He explained by saying.

“I had some reluctance in taking this part. Part of it was that I had never really done anything like this before, part of it was feeling like I wasn’t able to do it. And then part of it was what’s the world gonna think about me playing this total narcissistic, selfish, misogynistic loud who’s basically preying on this young woman.

Then I said come on man you know…It was a blast. It was all the things that you can’t do in life, like, everyone you get canceled for. But also that he falls apart. That he can’t maintain that.”

Ruffalo took up the challenge and his effort has paid off tremendously. The film is getting a lot of award buzz and his performance along with Stone’s has been universally praised. Both of them have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress at the upcoming Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.


Also read: “That’s how close we are”: Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo Find Out Totally Unexpected Link Between Their Families

Willem Dafoe Helped Mark Ruffalo Pull Off His Complicated Role in Poor Things

Willem Dafoe plays a wild surgeon who resurrects Emma Sone's character in Poor Things
Willem Dafoe plays a wild surgeon who resurrects Emma Sone’s character in Poor Things

Mark Ruffalo, Emma Stone, and Willem Dafoe are starring in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. For Ruffalo, the character was something that he had never played before. The complex and heinous nature of the character scared the actor. However, Dafoe seems to have helped Ruffalo in having fun in the process.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Ruffalo talked about how he and Dafoe would push each other to go completely wild and make each other comfortable. He also claims that Dafoe helped him calm his nerves about playing his character and enjoy it. He said,


“I thought the script was amazing. I read it and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I could pull this off.’ Gladly, I was proven wrong by Willem. I haven’t done a lot of comedy. But we had this rehearsal and we got to really play and goof off; I found a lot of stuff in there. He was egging me on all the time.”

The film is also slowly becoming a big awards contender for major categories in various award events. It remains to be seen which categories the film manages to win and whether Ruffalo nabs an award for his incredible performance in the film.

Also read: “Can I please stop dieting and working out now”: Mark Ruffalo Was Miserable Up Until His Shirtless Scene in Avengers


Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 1126

Rahul Thokchom is a senior content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.