Movies

‘I’m So Sick Of Being So Well-Behaved’: Mark Ruffalo Explains Why He Wants To Go Full-Villain After His Caddish Poor Things Role, And I Need This To Happen

The closest we’ve gotten to seeing Mark Ruffalo go off the handle onscreen is while playing that not-so-jolly green giant, The Hulk. (And, yes, the actor is down for a standalone Hulk movie, FYI.) However, whether he’s starring as “rom-com Ruffalo” in sweet films like 13 Going On 30, or as a good guy taking down sinister business in dramas like Spotlight and Zodiac, the Oscar nominee rarely goes fully bad in his films—until now, that is.

In his Academy Award-nominated supporting role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ delightfully weird Poor Things, Ruffalo portrays debauched lawyer Duncan Wedderburn, who, for all intents and purposes, is a fantastical f**kboy. He steals Emma Stone‘s Bella Baxter (an adult woman whose brain has been replaced with that of an unborn fetus) away for a literal pleasure cruise, and in the process proves himself to be “a total egoist and megalomaniac,” the actor told High Snobiety

With that rakish part under his belt, the actor now says he wants to flirt even further with being unlikable onscreen. 

Mark Ruffalo wants to go bad on the big screen

In an interview with Deadline, Ruffalo revealed that he initially didn’t think he was right for the role of the unabashed Poor Things cad until Lanthimos had to convince him. However, delving into the more villainous aspects of the part reportedly stirred something for the performer: 

It reminded me a lot of my early theater days, where I was just very courageous and kind of dangerous. For some reason over the years, I’ve been keeping it very restrained, and all the parts I’ve been playing called for that. This is a part that no one would’ve expected me in.

Though Duncan Wedderburn might not be what people immediately think of when they picture Mark Ruffalo, the role has not only freed up what the actor could do in audience’s eyes, but in his own: 

You get to an age in Hollywood, and it’s like you’re on the other side of it a little bit, and it’s starting to feel like that for me. I love acting, but I was also like, ‘Huh. Have I reached what I’m able to do now?’…I didn’t really realize how oppressive it was feeling until I was doing Duncan, and then I was like, ‘Oh, my god. I haven’t been able to really…’ Everything I’ve done is very creative, I think, and I’ve gotten to explore things that I wanted to explore, and express things that I wanted to express, and I don’t mean to take anything away from that, but it just started to feel a little bit like I was stuck, and it was a languishing feeling.

Does that mean more bad guys in Ruffalo’s future? If the actor has his say, then definitely. As he told the outlet: 

I’m so sick of being so well-behaved. I just want to take the ship as close to the reef as I can without actually crashing it. And maybe I’ll crash it too. I don’t give a sh*t anymore.

Mark Ruffalo isn’t playing Mr. Nice Guy anymore and, frankly, we’re here for it. 

Why we want to see movie villain Mark Ruffalo

In the Deadline interview, Ruffalo notes that he’s played shades of the villain before, citing the Duncan-esque qualities he sees in his former characters, like The Kids Are All Right‘s Paul and You Can Count On Me‘s Terry:

I’ve gotten to play some characters that are reminiscent of Duncan, like the baby seeds of Duncan. Even You Can Count on Me, that character, they’re these ne’er-do-wells that you sort of love.

Considering that those more gray-shaded guys are among some of Ruffalo’s best performances—he received one of his four career Oscar nominations for The Kids Are All Right—it’s clear that the actor is plenty capable of tapping into his inner bad boy. If Duncan Wedderburn is proof of what Ruffalo can do when he dabbles in the dark side, we say let the Mark Ruffalo Movie Villain Era™ commence! 

See Ruffalo as the deliciously devious Duncan Wedderburn when Poor Things becomes available to buy or rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and other video-on-demand platforms beginning February 27. 

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