Avengers Sound Editor Explains How He Used Lou Ferrigno to Create the Hulk Sound

Last week I brought you the story about Lou Ferrigno, who on some level might think that he’s the actual Hulk. he previously told Hollywood.com, “I did the voice of The Hulk for The Avengers. The growl, everything.”

Shockingly, that’s not a hundred percent true, but this Soundworks Collection profile on The Avengers, featuring Oscar-winning sound editor Christopher Boyes, does provide some interesting insight into how exactly they did create the Hulk sound (the Hulk part starts at the 3:00 mark).

“Initially, for Hulk, I started using all sorts of animal vocals, in trying to create this larger-than-life, territorial rage. And so the feedback coming back from Joss was that it was too much of a monster, too much of a creature. He really wanted to lead with the notion that this is a superhuman, but human in rage. So I just kept trying combination after combination, and finally I thought, I just have to work with human voices. So I started recording myself, and I just started recording combinations, and I would give them 10 to 15 variations of roars.

And Joss Whedon came back and said I like this one. And I went back and looked at the ingredients of that one, and it turned out to be Mark Ruffalo, some Lou Ferrigno, and a little bit of me, and two people from New Zealand. So I led with that. […] Lou Ferrigno seemed to have a real knack for who this character was. [Ferrigno and Ruffalo] were always a component of it.” -Christopher Boyes. Video via HitFix

I think it’s sweet the way everyone wants to placate Lou Ferrigno because he seems so enthusiastic and earnest. I mean, I’m sure their hearts are in the right place. But I don’t think we’re doing Lou Ferrigno any favors by validating his delusion that he’s the only person in the world who understands the psyche of a fictional character he didn’t write. These actors, they’re like puppies. They look so happy when you shower them with attention, but sometimes they need tough love in order to grow.