You’ll NEVER Guess How Many Times He Auditioned…Before He Got His First Job
Our favourite Hulk-humanitarian, Mark Ruffalo may be an award-contender but he hasn’t always been confident on his road to success.
After moving to Los Angeles and “hating it”, Ruffalo had given up on acting at least once in the mid-90’s, heading home to Kenosha, Wisconsin to work for his commercial-painter father. But he came back again and again.
In an interview in 2011, with Details magazine Ruffalo describes the struggles as an actor “It was brutal. The years are stripping away, but when you’re talking to anyone from home, you’re saying something like, ‘Well, I’m just working on my craft right now,’ when the truth is that I can’t get a f*cking job because no one will hire me. It was humiliating.”
Ruffalo worked as a bartender for over a decade, serving fellow actors such as Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage. He performed no-budget theatre, to empty audiences, whilst his brother paid for his parking fines. Ruffalo tirelessly trudged through 800 auditions, YES 800 AUDITIONS before booking a single role. He was rewarded with small movie roles, but none of which provided him with that big break.
However that opportunity came with an off-Broadway role in This Is Our Youth (for which Ruffalo won a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actor), with playwright Kenneth Lonergan. Ruffalo then persuaded Lonergan to audition him for Lonergan’s directorial feature-film debut, and he got the part. That small independent film was You Can Count on Me.
For Ruffalo, he won the Best Actor prize at the Montreal Film Festival, the New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, turning heads from other assorted groups.
Ruffalo, in an interview with Hollywood Sessions says the advice he would give himself at a young age would be “ I promise you, you’re not going to be homeless…You’re going to be OK”.
By Lois-Amber Toole