BWW Profile: Mark Ruffalo Emmy Nominated Star of Stage and Screen
In anticipation of the live 66th Annual Emmy Award broadcast on NBC on Monday, August 25th, BWW will be spotlighting the Emmy nominated TV performances of some of Broadway's biggest stars. If you want to follow along and interact with all of BroadwayWorld's Emmy coverage, check out #BWWEmmys on Twitter.
Mark Ruffalo first burst onto the scene in the critical darling, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME in 2000. With his first major role, he was on every critic's must-watch list immediately. Since then, he's never stopped working. "The Normal Heart" is Ruffalo's first major role on television, and clearly the Emmy community, along with the rest of us, stood up and took notice. His 2014 Emmy nomination is yet another addition to his length list of past nominations in a career that spans nearly two decades.
Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1967, Mark moved with his family from Wisconsin to Virginia and eventually to California where he ended up in Los Angeles. He began taking acting classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory which led to co-founding the Orpheus Theatre Company. He tended bar for many years until his first big break.
After nine years of minor roles in films, Ruffalo made a name for himself in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME with Laura Linney and Rory Culkin. From there he has gone on to appear in over 35 films to date. Some of my personal favorites include ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, ZODIAC, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, SHUTTER ISLAND, MARGARET and NOW YOU SEE ME, as well as those mentioned below in the videos. With his casting as the Incredible Hulk in Marvel's THE AVENGERS, he has become an international superstar while still maintaining his roots as a family man and activist.
Married now for 14 years with three children, Ruffalo is politically active, especially in advocating against fracking; mainly in northeast Pennsylvania near his family's land. Up next, he will be seen in FOXCATCHER with Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell and the much anticipated sequel, THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.
With his turn as Ned Weeks in HBO's THE NORMAL HEART, Ruffalo is part of an ensemble of outstanding actors including Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff and Julia Roberts in this brilliant film adaptation of the 1985 Larry Kramer play of the same name. It is a glaringly honest glimpse at the early frustration that AIDS and HIV were virtually ignored by the government in the early 1980s; not to mention that many citizens claimed it was "gay cancer." Each actor in this ensemble perfectly encapsulates the helplessness that was this frightening time period.
Here are five video clips that I have chosen from his vast amount of work over the last 15 years. The first is a telling scene from YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, with Ruffalo telling a young Rory Culkin why he doesn't like Rory's father. The second is the emotional "breakup" from the romantic comedy, 13 GOING ON 30 with Jennifer Garner (a personal favorite of my sister and her daughter). Next is his Oscar-nominated performance in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, where he and his biological son try bonding over basketball, followed by his most talked about scene in THE AVENGERS, when he, Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk reveals his secret to the rest of the Avengers. And lastly, an interview about his Emmy nominated performance in THE NORMAL HEART.
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast will air live coast-to-coast on Monday, August 25th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on NBC from the NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. And be sure to visit BWW TV for live coverage of the 2014 Primetime EMMY AWARDS.