Mark Ruffalo was told he’d never make it as an actor after a college audition

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2 mins read
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 1: Mark Ruffalo attends C2E2 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on March 1, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 1: Mark Ruffalo attends C2E2 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on March 1, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Mark Ruffalo has opened up about the origins of his career, revealing that the head of the acting department at an arts college told him he’d never make it as an actor.

Ruffalo made this admission to Variety during a wide-ranging discussion about his early life as an actor, when he was constantly “afraid and had so little confidence.”

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After auditioning for a few plays, Ruffalo said that his “first real audition was after high school for SUNY Purchase,” a public liberal arts college located just outside of New York City. Clearly it did not go well, as Ruffalo added, “After my audition, the head of the department said, ‘What are you going to do when you realise you’ll never make it as an actor?’”

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Actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pose for a photo during the handprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pose for a photo during the handprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ruffalo was then asked by the publication what he would say to that person today, if he had the chance to speak to them. Through laughter he responded, “Maybe you should get a new line of work.”

The 52-year-old actor had more than made a mockery of this individual’s prediction. After gaining notoriety in the world of theatre for his work in Kenneth Lonergan’s play This Is Our Youth, Ruffalo has since gone on to star in the likes of 13 Going On 30, Zodiac, and Shutter Island, while he also received Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominations for The Kids Are All Right, Foxcatcher, and Spotlight.

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However, at this point, Ruffalo is mostly recognised for playing Bruce Banner/Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ruffalo replaced Ed Norton in this part in 2012’s The Avengers, before playing him in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.