Ruffalo talks to Faraci

A smart salute for Mark Ruffalo, an actor with a solid-gold attitude who shudders at the idea of ever going “waah, waah, waah” over anything. CHUD’s Devin Faraci asked him about the tension that reportedly kicked in when fellow Zodiac costar Jake Gyllenhaalwas asked by director David Fincher to do dozens of takes for certain scenes. Here’s an excerpt:

Ruffalo as Det. Dave Toschi in David Fincher‘s Zodiac

Faraci: “Some of your strongest scenes in the movie are with Jake Gyllenhaal. What’s he like to work with?”

Ruffalo: “He was good. I’ve known Jake for a long time, and it was good to work with him. It was fun to see him really kind of stretch his wings with somebody like Dave Fincher. They were tough scenes, and they took a lot of building, but I’m happy the way they ended up. It’s a good performance, and I think it’s one of his best. As much as he talks about being put through the wringers, it paid off for him.

Faraci: “Was that your experience with Fincher as well? Jake talked to the New York Times about how difficult the process was for him, and Fincher is known for being very exacting. Was your experience similar to his?”

Ruffalo: “I can only respect an artist like Fincher. I can only respect somebody who puts that kind of demands on himself and the people around him. I can only respect a man who doesn’t think good enough is good enough. So I didn’t see it the way some people saw it — to me that’s ‘waah waah waah.’

“I mean, to me, we get paid a lot of money and there are people who work a lot frickin’ harder…most everyone on the set. If you had to do a few extra takes…to hear that makes me cringe. Please, God…don’t think we’re all like this.”

  • mongstrol

    Cheers to Ruffalo! A class act all the way.

  • In case y’all want to read the rest:

  • The Movie Man

    I have to agree, well done, maybe that’s why Ruffalo is one of the more interesting actors of his generation. I would like to see him in a really good, sharp comedy, a character film like YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, only with the humor dialed up a few notches. Hopefully Alexander Payne is reading.

  • kyle21

    Maybe he just likes abusive directors??

  • Hallick

    Wow. So that’s what Russell Crowe would sound like sane. Good on ya, Ruffalo.

  • lesterg

    “Maybe he just likes abusive directors??”

    Expecting your actors to be prepared and striving to get the best possible performance possible out of them = abusive?

  • JD

    I’d give Gyllenhaal a bit more credit. Clearly, he gets something out of conflict on the set. On Jarhead, he lost it on the actor who he fights with in the movie. Reportedly, he also had lots of friction with Sam Mendes. Maybe that’s just his early-Sean-Penn-esque process. Still, Ruffalo’s got a damn good attitude. And he’s one hell of an actor.

  • Joshua Mooney

    Oh yeah he knows what side his bread’s buttered on, to be sure. But how’s Ruffalo evah gunna be a stah with that attitude?

    Gyllenhaal? He’s a Rock Hudson in the making. I expect big things.

  • lesterg

    Sly Toothy Tile reference, Joshua.

  • EDouglas

    BTW, there’s a prety major spoiler for the movie in the interview if you haven’t read Graysmith’s book or followed/read up on the case. I personally think that being told the identity of the killer before seeing the movie (as that interview does) might take away from one’s enjoyment of the film.

  • I couldn’t disagree more. The identity of the killer is tertiary to everything else going on in the film. It’s not a mystery in that sense.

  • Devin, did you know it beforehand? Because I didn’t, and I enjoyed not knowing if a certain residence might or might not be the killer’s lair (and there are two major setpieces with that kind of tension). I’m happy I went in not knowing.

  • Stephe96

    Ruffalo’s stock just went up a lot higher in my book. I like to hear actors talk like this. By the way, I think I read somewhere that Ruffalo had brain cancer awhile back? I’m sure something like certainly puts “a few extra takes” on big-budget Hollywood movie in perspective.

  • Luke: Yes, I knew. The DNA testing on the Zodiac letters made the news only a few years ago.

  • slothroplt

    Mark Ruffalo’s I-think-I’m-going-to-save-the-day-but-I’m-really-going-to-get-killed-in-the-blink-of-any-eye performance in Collateral was the best I’ve seen since Scatman Carruthers in The Shining.

  • Dan Revill

    Mark Ruffalo rules. Great interview Devin. Can’t wait to see the film this weekend.

  • Aladdin Sane

    Mark Ruffalo rules. Great interview Devin. Can’t wait to see the film this weekend.

  • Balthazar

    AP’s Christy Lemire on the cast: The film features some excellent performances from a strong cast, including Mark Ruffalo as tenacious San Francisco police Inspector David Toschi (supposedly the inspiration behind Clint Eastwood√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s √ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúDirty Harry√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù character) and Robert Downey Jr. as self-destructive Chronicle reporter Paul Avery, who covered the Zodiac killings. Brian Cox absolutely tears it up as celebrity defense lawyer Melvin Belli, a role any character actor would have a ball playing and one that seems ideally suited for Cox√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s brand of off-kilter bravado. As the obsessed Graysmith, though, Jake Gyllenhaal is both the central figure and the weakest link. He√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s the one who keeps the hunt alive when there seems to be nowhere else to go with it, and even though he√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s not a detective or a reporter, his fascination with the serial killings instinctively propels him. But he√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s never fleshed out sufficiently to make you believe that he√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢d sacrifice his safety and that of his family to find the truth. We are told repeatedly that the former Eagle Scout is just a genuinely good guy, but that√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s not enough. √É‚Äö√Ǭ∂