What It's Like To Watch Mark Ruffalo Play The Hulk On Set

In the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe series on Disney+, Tatiana Maslany brings to life Jennifer Walters, aka, "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law." The character was first introduced in "The Savage She-Hulk" #1 comic in 1980, and has made a handful of mostly animated film and television appearances over the years. But the character created by the late Stan Lee and John Buscema has yet to appear in the MCU, until now. Jennifer Walters is an interesting character, because while she's proud to be the cousin of Bruce Banner, she's less than thrilled when she develops his superhuman abilities after some bloody cross-contamination. The nine-episode series focuses on the complexities surrounding Walters' adjustment to being the superhero she never asked to be, navigating how being She-Hulk fits into her already fulfilling life as a lawyer.

While her appearance is a first for the MCU, the show is also bringing MCU's Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, back into the fold. Based on what we've seen in the trailers, it looks like this version of Bruce Banner is Smart Hulk, the scientific and zen version of Hulk seen in "Avengers: Endgame." Ruffalo first appeared as Bruce Banner/Hulk in 2012's "The Avengers," taking over the role from Edward Norton. This means he's been playing the character for over a decade, which made him an invaluable resource for Maslany as she set out to play She-Hulk. 

During a press conference for the new series, /Film's own Valerie Ettenhofer was able to hear firsthand what it was like for Maslany to watch Ruffalo in action.

10 years of Hulking out

According to Maslany, "Mark was just so open to whatever my process was with coming to She-Hulk, he never was prescriptive." This is such a wonderful thing to hear, as it's a testament to Ruffalo respecting his fellow actor, and recognizing that not every actor has the same approach to the acting process. 

Maslany did say that she was able to witness something incredible, a sign of what happens when someone spends so much of their time playing the same character: "He was laying down on the ground outside as Bruce, and then he got up as Hulk, like, truly from a laying down position, he's suddenly standing." What Maslany had witnessed was Ruffalo doing a kip-up, an acrobatic move often seen in martial arts, breakdancing, and professional wrestling where someone lying face up pops their body up to their feet and into a standing position.

"It looked completely inhuman," Maslany said. "And I was like oh, so that is what 10 years of playing this character and physically embodying him and being so inside of him ... you get to do cool stuff like that." To make things even more interesting, Ruffalo had expressed that outside of being in "Hulk-mode," he can't do a kip-up. If someone were to ask Ruffalo, the person, to try a kip-up, he told them he'd struggle to do it. It's incredible the way the mind and body can completely transform when an actor is truly in the moment.

"She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" arrives on Disney+ on August 18, 2022.