There’s a weird thing that happens to aging actors who have appeared in beloved cult classics. I suspect they spend so much time hanging around people with who are obsessed with whatever show they were in that they start to assume that everyone was obsessed with that show, and attach a much greater importance to it than it actually has. It’s kind of like writing a movie blog and assuming everyone cares about Joss Whedon. If you watch Best Worst Movie you can actually see this effect as it happens, when gregarious Troll 2 star George Hardy goes from being a demigod at Troll 2 conventions to unrecognized everywhere else, and can’t quite wrap his mind around why (great movie if you haven’t seen it, incidentally).
No one in the world seems to have been affected by this phenomenon more strongly than Lou Ferrigno, who played The Hulk for five years in the late seventies and now doesn’t seem to walk three feet without doing a Hulk pose. You’d think he might’ve developed some perspective on this by now, but… well, he really, really hasn’t.
“I know exactly what needed to come out from inside of him,” Ferrigno told Hollywood.com. “[Having done] the TV series, I know how The Hulk thinks and feels.”
I blame Entertainment Tonight-type interviewers for constantly asking actors for backstory about characters they didn’t write. “What can you tell us about Robocop’s childhood?” Actors aren’t that smart. They have to answer those long enough, they start think the Hulk is a person and that they’re the only person who understands him.
Ferrigno is blunt: “CGI can’t compare to the human Hulk.”
Much like his predecessors, director Joss Whedon has stated that he hopes to revive the magic of the Bixby/Ferrigno show. With Ruffalo actually portraying The Hulk, that may finally be possible. But not without a little help from Ferrigno, of course. “I did the voice of The Hulk for The Avengers. The growl, everything.”
“Sensitivity. It came right through the make-up. We relate to him because when you look at the human Hulk, you feel like that kind of person. When you’re angry, when you’re emotionally depressed. The Hulk does it for you. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, that’s what made the show magic.”
“I do conventions and almost every person knows, when I come to the convention, that I’m doing the voice of The Hulk and they get excited. They have the motivation, they want to connect with The Hulk. They know.” [via Hollywood.com]
Why couldn’t he be this obsessed with Pumping Iron, like me? All day we could talk about Arnold smoking weed, Arnold being awesome, Arnold talking about how every day he is cumming… That would be much healthier, would it? Wouldn’t it? …Guys?