8 Shocking Facts About Mark Ruffalo, Including His Brain Tumor And Brother’s ‘Execution-Style’ Murder

Mark Ruffalo seemed to fly under the radar until he was cast as Bruce Banner in The Avengers. Since then, according to New York Daily News, he has received critical acclaim for his role as Banner.

“Ruffalo is the revelation, turning Banner into a wry reservoir of calm ready to become a volcano.”

But there is so much more to this Indie-style actor-turned-Hollywood. And the acclaim for his talent is not misplaced, now that he has garnered his third Oscar nomination in five years, this time for his role in Spotlight.

Here are some incredible facts about Mark Ruffalo.

1. Yahoo! Movies reports that Samuel L. Jackson likes to hug Mark Ruffalo because he thinks Ruffalo is like a cuddly bear.

“He’s just everybody’s little cuddly bear. Everyone loves hugging on Mark.”

Even Channing Tatum agrees.

2. In an interview with New York Daily News, Mark Ruffalo said that he could relate to the Hulk because he had a lot of anger issues in his 20s.

“You should have seen me in my 20s, man. I was the poster definition of an angry young man with a persecution complex. I’ve gotten a lot of gifts and I have a lot to be thankful for, so I don’t wear my anger – I’m much cooler. But there was a time if you came into my apartment, there were pictures and posters hanging in very odd places where they were covering fist-holes through walls. Glasses that had been thrown through, coffee mugs, books, whatever I could get a hold of as I was struggling as a young actor, suffering through imagined or real slights from other people’s hands. So it wasn’t too hard to revisit those places.”

3. Mark Ruffalo had to wear a green leotard and crocodile shoes when he did the motion capture for the Hulk.

“[It] isn’t the most flattering, I was really excited to use that technology to bring the Hulk to life in a way that we haven’t seen it.”

4. Mark Ruffalo actually signed a six-movie deal to play Bruce Banner/Hulk, which means fans will see the Hulk a lot more in future films.

5. Boomsbeat reports that Mark Ruffalo competed as a wrestler in junior high school and high school. Maybe that experience helped him with the Hulk.

6. Mark Ruffalo is passionate in the fight against fracking, and he co-authored a video about fracking with Phil Radford. Ruffalo has also spoken passionately about the issue with the Huffington Post.

“[It would] would take an enormous amount of energy and time [to put in place]. And why not take that energy, and time and people power and put it towards what we really need, what we all know we need: renewables.”

7. Mark Ruffalo had a brain tumor, which came just when he had been cast in The Last Castle. He spoke about it in an interview with Men’s Journal.

“It was big-time. There I was with one of my heroes, Robert Redford, doing this walk-and-talk. I’m like, ‘What the f*** am I doing here? This is my wildest dream come true!’ And then I found out I had my brain tumor.”

8. Mark Ruffalo’s brother was murdered in 2008. In his interview with Men’s Journal, Ruffalo spoke about how his little brother was shot “execution style.” Ruffalo felt guilty about his brother’s death for a long time.

“You always wonder, what could I have done differently? But there’s also the healthier part that says, you integrate it, and you get on. You never get over it; you just get used to it. You get calloused, a little bit harder maybe, so be on guard for that. But take these tragic things and turn them into something meaningful and worthy of the loss. Make it count. From here on out, do the best you can to make it count.”

[Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images]