Home Actor Interviews Mark Ruffalo on His Long Road to Success as an Actor

Mark Ruffalo on His Long Road to Success as an Actor

A picture of actor Mark Ruffalo wearing a dark suit jacket and a jean shirt. He has dark brown hair and warm brown eyes.
Actor Mark Ruffalo

The Beginning

Actor Mark Ruffalo talks candidly about the long road to success as an actor, and about the personal challenges he’s faced in his life.  He was a student at the Stella Adler School for Actors in Los Angeles for six years, bartending to make ends meet.  After nearly 600 auditions, Mark finally broke out in the film “You Can Count on Me” with actress, Laura Linney.

A Stumbling Block

Just before his son was born, Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Not knowing if it was cancerous or benign, he kept it a secret from his wife and everyone else in his life until he knew for sure.   After all, how could he tell his wife when she was just about to give birth?  Luckily, the tumor was benign, but the surgery to remove the tumor paralyzed one side of his face for nearly a year.  He was convinced he’d never get movement on that side of his face again, when suddenly an eye twitch revealed his recovery.

Family Tragedy

When Mark’s brother Scott was found dead, shot in the back of the head,  his perspective on his life and where it was headed changed completely.  He moved his family back to upstate New York and almost gave up on acting completely.  When the role in the film, “The Kids are All Right” came up, he thought it would be his last role before moving on to something else.  Then something unexpected happened.  He was able to see his brother in the character he was playing, and he found some healing in playing the role.

Watch this remarkable and insightful interview for more…

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Melody Stewart is the founder of act.land and President of iactingstudioskc.com. She is a filmmaker in Kansas City.