Mark Ruffalo, the standout in last year’s biggest hit “The Avengers,” has been dividing his time of late between acting and advocacy: He’s worked with New Yorkers Against Fracking to raise awareness of the environmentally destructive drilling method.
On occasion of the release of “Promised Land,” Matt Damon’s anti-fracking drama (which opened softly at the box office and hasn’t won over critics), Ruffalo called from the set of Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” to discuss the challenges of merging art and politics.
Have you seen “Promised Land”?
I haven’t gotten to see it yet — I’ve been working a pretty grueling schedule here in Pittsburgh. But I know a good deal about it. I know Matt, and we corresponded about this — he didn’t want to make a polemic. I understand that. I’m pro-gay marriage. And when I read “The Kids Are All Right” [for which Ruffalo was nominated for an Oscar], I thought, This would be a great way to show the human side of that debate. I find myself interested in the human side of the story more than the sheer power structure and how that works, and lobbying. I wish I were a better writer and could create something that could do it. I haven’t come across anything yet that turned my head and made me feel it’s what I need to do.
Why are there so few political scripts these days? The 1970s, for instance, were a golden age by comparison.
A lot of it has to do with financing and accessibility. It’s harder to hit straight on like in “All the President’s Men,” or “Three Days of the Condor,” or these movies that came out in the ’70s that were politically charged. We still have them. If you’re going to show what happened in Iraq, you run into the problem of funding and accessibility and, those government agencies are really heavy about propaganda and what they want to see in the world. They’re like a corporation, they have trademarks on their insignias, on their weaponry. You have to get those things cleared. There should be a line between propaganda the country wants to give to its people, and the people who are making the art.
But “The Avengers” co-starred Chris Evans as Captain America, a U.S. supersoldier who represents the military might of the nation and is an unambiguous hero.
“The Avengers” isn’t saying: We’re going to make a journalistic style true story about a military operation. And even though a great deal of it is fictionalized, we’re going to tell it as a journalistic effort. You look at “The Avengers,” and Captain America, and one thing you see, he’s anachronistic. He’s no longer really part of the American culture, and it’s something they play on in jokes. His idea of weaponry is so primitive.
The character I’m playing is basically a pacifist. But he also has this giant green rage machine that’s part of his makeup. It’s kind of a good metaphor for us, for America. The difference between that movie and other movies is that that’s a fantasy, and when people go to ["The Avengers"], they’re very forgiving. They’re open to that experience. Culturally we work out a lot of things sitting watching “The Avengers,” thinking, This is so intense. It’s not my favorite genre, but people are willing, and the suspension of disbelief is so strong they’re going so wholeheartedly along with this ride. What’s the difference between this and the ancient gods? Mankind needs to have these kind of stories and have these characters to play with, and work out some need in their psyche. Maybe that kind of film has a positive place in our culture. [The villains] are aliens. They’re not people. You’re not seeing violent bloodshed. I see it as something totally different.
The push to tax Wall Street is getting some star power. Mark Ruffalo takes on Wall Street earthlings in a new video calling for a tax on financial transactions.
The video, financed by several advocacy groups, supports a proposed “Robin Hood tax,” a levy of less than half of 1 percent on every Wall Street trade, being billed as a way to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help reduce the federal deficit. The video’s release on Tuesday coincides with a series of demonstrations in cities like New York and Washington.
Mark, who also is an advocate for environmental causes, opens the video by altering a dollar bill, drawing a Robin Hood cap and mask on the face of George Washington, as a symbol for the campaign. Chris Martin, the singer of Coldplay, and Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine, also make appearances.
(via NY Times)
Last night, Mark was honored at the Global Green’s 15th Annual Millennium Awards for his involvement with the anti-fracking movement. Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.
Here’s an ad from New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness in which actor Mark Ruffalo calls on Gov. Cuomo to extend the so-called millionaires’ tax. It’s noticeable in that it’s one of the few ads still running in which Cuomo is criticized by name. Critics are not sure if it’s Cuomo’s high poll numbers of fears or one of his famous phone calls or a combination but millionaires’ tax supporters have been loathe to criticize the governor even though they are happy to take swipes at NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senate Republicans on the issue.
This is all happening as lawmakers and Cuomo creep toward closure of the 2011-12 budget. Dean Skelos just emerged from a meeting with the governor in which he said he thought the budget could be completed in the next 12 couple hours. Meanwhile, Assembly Democrats are heading into their conference — maybe Shelly Silver will be the next leader to have a one-on-one conference with the governor.
Academy Award–nominated actor Mark Ruffalo and his wife, Sunrise, appear in the latest video in the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality series from the Human Rights Campaign.
The couple talks about parenthood in the video, saying, “We’re raising our three kids to treat everyone with dignity and respect. We believe everyone should have the right and the chance to be with the person they love – straight or gay.”
Advocates in New York hope to see another vote by June on the marriage equality bill, which failed in the state senate in 2009. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vowed to push for a vote during this legislative session.
“Oh, it’s totally a different set of questions” you get in Hollywood than the ones in Washington, he says, raking his fingers through that mess of floppy, boyish curliness. “One is, ‘Who are you wearing?’ And the other is, ‘How are we going to save the planet?’”
He first learned about the fracking debate at his local farmers market, where he goes to buy the things that he and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, don’t grow in their own garden. That initiation was two years ago. Since then, he’s become the Natural Resource Defense Council’s most recognizable face, lobbying the state government in Albany to ban the practice in New York, and now working at the national level.
Mark. You spent the morning meeting with congressmen on Capitol Hill. What issues were you discussing?
“Fracking. Hydraulic fracking. They blast the mixture underground at such high levels that it fractures the bedrock, which allows the natural gas to escape. A real movement is starting to coalesce around water,” he says. “Our idea is to go from city to city [and unite] whatever water groups are fighting mountaintop removal, or water scarcity, or gas drilling – anywhere that water is under attack, we host a concert there. The ultimate goal is we need to start thinking about clean, publicly owned water as a constitutional right.”
That’s in the hazy future. First he must navigate the Oscars, which, “as an event, is fatally boring,” he insists. “They don’t let you get up and dance or anything.” (Source)
Mark was in Washington February 17th for a “Safe Drinking Water Act” press conference at the country’s capitol. He was also in Washington for a screening of the documentary, Gasland. Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.
Mark was on hand at EZ Studios in New York for the DVD release party of Josh Fox’s documentary, “Gasland.” Head over to the gallery for the latest additions.
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground-a hydraulic drilling process called “fracking”-and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.
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Actor Mark Ruffalo has been placed on a terror advisory list by U.S. officials after organizing screenings for a new documentary about natural gas drilling. The Zodiac actor arranged showings for GasLand earlier this year and voiced his concerns about the affects the practice is having on America’s water supplies.
But his efforts to raise awareness and demand a stop to natural gas drilling reportedly attracted the attention of officials from Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security – and he recently discovered it had landed him on a terror alert watchlist.
But Ruffalo is taking it all in his stride and has laughed off the idea he could be a threat to security in his native U.S.
He tells GQ magazine, “(It’s) pretty fuckin’ funny.”
A standing-room-only crowd of over 120 gathered at the University at Albany campus center last Thursday night to discuss the risks of a controversial natural gas drilling technique called “hydrofracking”.
Most attendees admitted to attending in order to see and meet actor Mark Ruffalo, a Sullivan County resident who has spoken up against fracking. While Ruffalo understood that the large draw was due to his fame, he hoped to enlighten students on a technique which is potentially poisoning public water supply.
Ruffalo and his wife moved to Sullivan County from Hollywood a few years go in order to raise their family. He noticed neighbors leasing their land to gas drilling companies. His community quickly divided on the subject.
“The basic, fundamental life source – water, which we all take for granted – is being ruined. As soon as I got there, I pretty much landed smack dab in the middle of this fight.”
According to Ruffalo, “There hasn’t been one place where they’ve done this and people haven’t had their water contaminated. How did we get to a place where it’s OK for one in ten people to lose something so essential?”
Mark plead to the crowd, “It is upon us to prove they’re poisoning our water and not upon them to prove that they are not. I’m counting on you. My kids are counting on you. The whole world’s changing and it’s in your hands. It is in your grasp to change the way we’re treating our water and land and air.”
In between flashes from cell phone cameras, the Shutter Island and 13 Going on 30 actor made a passionate plea to the crowd to become involved and demand safety regulations of this technique. He explained that hydrofracking is completely exempted from the FDA. The Environmental Protection Agency currently uses standards and regulations set in 1994. (Read the Entire Article)