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Why Mark Ruffalo Wanted to Quit Acting

Bs 04.21.11_crop If you read last week's Back Stage cover story about Mark Ruffalo, you know how the actor fought for a decade to make Sympathy for Delicious, his directorial debut that premiered last year at Sundance and is hitting select theaters this weekend. But did you know that Ruffalo's desire to direct was so strong that he was willing to give up his acting career?

"I was so serious," Ruffalo tells The Playlist, "I parted ways with my representation and I thought, 'The only way I can do this is if I really quit acting.' That's how serious I was. And that's pretty much what I did after I did The Kids Are All Right. I said, 'I'm not going to act, I'm only going to do directing.'"

Of course, the actor was quickly chosen to play the Hulk in next year's Marvel superhero blockbuster The Avengers, so he didn't stay behind the camera for long. (The Avengers began shooting this week.) But he is already working on the next film he plans to direct, My Monster, about a recovering heroin addict whose six-year-old son is in a car accident with his mother. "And the six-year-old shows up at this dysfunctional guy’s home in a full cast," Ruffalo explains. "And he’s got to raise this boy by himself and become a man. And it’s very poignant and sweet and funny and it’s in really good shape right now, so I think that’ll be my next film."

And just for fun, let's watch Ruffalo get into character as the Hulk for MTV:

-- Daniel Lehman

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