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This Marvel star was told, ‘You will never do that as an actor’

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a blockbuster action movie franchise packed with top talent. But a star of the show was once told that she had no future as an actor. Here’s what the MCU Scene Thief said about it.

MCU's Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo
MCU’s Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo | Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mark Ruffalo had humble beginnings

Fans recognize Mark Ruffalo as the actor who brought Bruce Banner, aka Hulk, to life in the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film, The Avengers, in 2012. He also reprized the role in several MCU films and will voice the character in an upcoming TV series.

But years before he graced the big screen for the multi-billion dollar franchise, the actor started out as a humble college student. He spoke to Variety about her experience learning the trade at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Los Angeles.

RELATED: MCU Co-Stars Samuel L. Jackson & Anthony Mackie Team Up Again

The MCU alumnus told the outlet that I live in San Diego and surf and smoke weed and don’t get anywhere very fast. Variety noted that Ruffalo took a friend’s advice and went to Stella Adler to audition with instructor Joanne Linville.

Here I am, this kid from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was dyslexic, could barely read, I had barely finished high school, and I walked in and talked to Joanne. She interviewed me for about 10 minutes. She was like, you belong here, honey. No one ever told me I was in my shoes. I had never been so excited to learn in my life as I embarked on this journey.

Mark Ruffalo in Variety

Ruffalo recalled her first real audition went wrong

Linville has become a positive force in Ruffalos’ acting training. But not all meetings have been so constructive for the future MCU star. In the Variety interview, Ruffalo shared the story of taking a hard hit on his first real audition.

I was scared and had so little confidence in myself. I did a few acting auditions, but my first real audition was after high school for SUNY Purchase. After my hearing, the head of the department said: What are you going to do when you realize that you will never be successful as an actor?

Considering what he would say to that lost person today, Ruffalo laughed: Maybe you should have a new line of work.

The actor became an A-list movie star

Despite the disastrous hearing, Ruffalo stayed the course and continued to pursue his dream. And it turns out that the head of the department who doubted the abilities of the stars was seriously wrong.

Besides his show tour as the Hulk, Ruffalo has scored a bunch of other gigs on TV and in movies. Some of her most popular roles include parts in 54, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 13 Going on 30, The Kids Are Alright, and Shutter Island.

Ruffalo had a lot of crowd pleasures in his rearview mirror and showed no signs of slowing down. He’ll soon be sharing the big screen with Chris Pine in the Walter Cronkite-centric biopic, Newsflash.

Follow Erika Delgado on Twitter.



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