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Avengers Unite!: We’re with Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and More!

May 01, 2012

By: Lynn Barker

You haven’t been overwhelmed until you’ve sat less than 15 feet away from Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and their “boss” Nick Fury. The actors playing these iconic characters could easily be ego-freaks but they are funny and friendly. We learned that Mark Ruffalo, as Hulk, based his performance on his 10-year-old son.

Kidzworld wanted to know all about the fun the gang had making the film (way too much evidently!) and found that the guys are still fast friends. Group hugs all around. Check it out.

Kidzworld: What do you each like best about your character? What makes your guy special to you?

  • Mark Ruffalo (Hulk):  I like that we’re all told to be so well-behaved and I think we all sometimes are bursting at the seams to let it rip, and Bruce Banner gets that moment (when he Hulks out). And I think part of the joy of the film is for people to actually see that happen. It’s exciting for us. It's a nice way for us to blow off steam in watching movies and yes, especially me.
  • Chris Evans (Captain America): I would say it’s his heart, his selflessness. He wasn't born a superhero, this didn't happen on accident, he was chosen, and it was for those reasons, values and morals, he puts other people and other causes ahead of himself and it's something to aspire to.
  • Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man): Well, he didn't really set out to do anything noble, so he's kind of in transition and so there's something a little more Han Solo than Luke about him. And also the fact that he can pull off a wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt for the better part of the film. I like that.
  • Chris Hemsworth (Thor): I like the sort of visceral, sort of gut instinct that Thor has. And there's bit of a childlike-quality in the sense that if he believes something or he wants to do something, he does it and says it. Kids own their environment. There's no opinions that they really care about and I think Thor is surrounded by bravado and strength and all that but, at the end of the day, he's pretty true to who he is and what he wants to do. And I think that was fun to play with.
  • Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury): I just like the fact that Nick Fury believes that these unique individuals deserve the love and admiration of the world. (The world) pretty much owes everything to them because there are things out there greater than us.

Nick FuryNick FuryCourtesy of Marvel

Kidzworld: Cool! Chris Hemsworth, Thor’s relationship with (adopted brother) Loki is really interesting, and it's complicated. Did you pull anything from your real-life relationships? You’ve got a couple of actor brothers.

  • Chris H: The last time either one of my brothers tried to take over the world or universe, I had to think back and I thought, "How did I feel?" (laughs) No. When we did Thor, (director) Kenneth Branagh kept saying, “You know, let's not get caught in playing Gods or what-have-you. Let's get truthful.  You have brothers and how do you relate to that?” And that became the thread through Thor and through this. I can give my brother a hiding and tell him off, but no one else can.
  • Robert:  But don't you feel that Liam is trying to take over your box-office universe?
  • Chris H: (laughs) And I do say that. I said, "Look, Liam…"
  • Robert: Doesn't he need to be corrected in some way?
  • Chris H: Oh no. He's got a few bruises currently. And yeah, there's a rise to his box office. Gotta watch that. (laughter) 

Avengers PosterAvengers PosterCourtesy of Marvel

Kidzworld: Everyone, what was your most memorable moment in filming The Avengers?

  • Robert: There's the first time when we're all assembled on the bridge ( of their big ship set) and I think we all saw each other and realized that we were probably likely to continue shooting the movie.
  • Chris H: I think that was our first day on set too, with the whole ensemble, which was a pretty exciting and nerve-wracking experience. But it was amazing.
  • Chris E: I think mine was the scene where Thor and Iron Man are fighting, and I had just seen Thor a day prior, and I'd yet to see Hemsworth or Downey in their full suit. And I showed up that night, and it was the first time I saw them kind of geared up. I just got really excited, I felt like a little kid. I was honored to be part of it.

Kidzworld: Mark, there are a lot of versions of the Hulk out there and a lot of actors have portrayed Bruce Banner. Did you do any specific research on Hulk?

  • Mark: Well, I met with Joss Whedon (Director, Writer) and he said he really liked "The Incredible Hulk" TV show and what Bill Bixby did with him. So I rented those with my 10-year-old son. And after the third episode, he turned to me and said, "Poppa, he's so misunderstood." I basically based my character entirely on my 10-year-old boy, who has all the force of nature screaming out of his body while at the same time having everyone around him telling him to control himself. And that was it. I'm sorry, it's about the control.

Kidzworld: The other actors are saying that you were the leader Robert, the force uniting them, you were the mentor.  Did you instigate that? How did it work?

  • Robert: I offered them rides on my private jet. I remember I would get nervous about (doing an Avengers movie with all the superheroes) and excited about it and doubtful of it. But, I already had a history with Sam (Jackson), and I was really wanting to capitalize on that, and by the time Chris and Chris had launched their individual franchises with success and charisma, and by the time we had Mark, I was like, "Wow, you know what? This is really going to happen.” So it was nice to not really have to carry a movie. I think everyone is really, really equal in this film

Iron ManIron ManCourtesy of Marvel

Kidzworld: Chris Evans, I like when you joked that Captain America had to take the stairs and all the rest of them were fighting.

  • Chris E: Yeah,  I'm like, 'Hulk, you do this impossible thing. Thor, you bottleneck a portal, and Iron Man flies over here and uh….. I'll take the stairs.' (Laughter)

Kidzworld: If you could each swap and play someone else’s character in the next movie, who would you swap with?

  • Chris E: Oh man. See I want to say Iron Man because I love those movies, but I can't. Who can do it better, you know what I mean? The shoes would be too big to fill.(Robert grins and wiggles his eyebrows).
  • Sam: I want to be Scarlett. I just want to be that cute for, like, 15 minutes (massive laughter).

Kidzworld: Mark, you're the only one on this panel without a stand-alone movie before this production, at least not one with you playing the Hulk. I was wondering if you could talk about how you fit into this crazy superhero world, coming into it fresh.

  • Mark: It was terrifying. I knew what my responsibility was, or I felt it just by making the mistake of going online and reading some of the fanboy responses to the announcement that I was playing the next version of Bruce Banner. That was a mistake. I will never do that again. But I never had a role be more scrutinized and criticized even before I shot a single frame.
  • But coming onto the set with all of these guys was pretty daunting. Many of my heroes in life are in this cast. So I knew that I had big shoes to fill, so to speak. It was tough and I wish that I had a cool costume to wear the entire time instead of a leotard that was painted like a Chinese checker board (for the CGI effects when he “hulks out”).

Hulk SmashHulk SmashCourtesy of Marvel

Kidzworld: Chris Evans, you are usually joking and wise-cracking in your movies but you are sort of the straight man to Robert’s witty dialogue in this. Was that weird for you?

  • Chris E: It's tough not getting any jokes. You know, that's his role, it's necessary. And that's kind of why I like it, because I am used to leaning on cracking jokes and being a wise a** so it's nice to play it straight a little bit. And I think even in this film more than the first Captain America, Steve Rogers has some issues, some conflict, some trouble given the fact that he is a man out of time. But given who he is as a man, his nature, he puts that second, he puts the mission first and he's just selfless. That's a fun character, I guess.

Kidzworld: And Chris H., Thor is from another planet, talk about a fish out of water. How did you fit him in with the rest of the gang?

  • Chris H: A fish out of water, yeah. We all kind of fell into that category.  It’s a dysfunctional family and we somehow belong in the fact that we don't belong anywhere else. But Thor's from another planet, and I guess his motivation through the conflict was far more personal than the rest of them because of his brother (being the bad guy).  So it was nice to have already shot the Thor film and have that relationship with Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki).

Kidzworld: We were told the cast got along together really well and you did group hugs. Can you tell us a funny story during the shoot or off the set?

  • Chris H: Well, Chris sent us a text, and said, "Avengers assemble at such-and-such bar at 9 o'clock on Saturday night." Now that was a good group effort. We died for it at work for the next couple days. It’s three in the morning and we’re on the dance floor.

Thor and Captain AmericaThor and Captain AmericaCourtesy of Marvel

Kidzworld: There is so much combat action in the film. Was anyone hurt while shooting?

  • Chris H: There’s the scene where Thor takes Loki off the ship and lands and we go into the big two-hander.  And so I was on a wire, because I hadn't learned to fly yet, and I had to come down and land on the cliff. Just land and step and have the conversation. The first couple of takes, and this is going to turn up on the DVD extras somewhere, I just face-planted into the dirt. Incredibly ungraceful and un-superhero like. That's my story.

Kidzworld: Before the Avengers bond, they are arguing like a big family at Thanksgiving. Was it fun to play that kind of scene?

  • Chris H: I remember reading the section in the script where Hulk and Thor are finally on the same team and fighting the aliens and they finish and they both are standing there, out of breath. Hulk just backhands Thor through a wall. That was something I looked forward to. And there I am on the wire, just getting yanked out of the shot. It was good.
  • Sam: It was great allowing an audience to see that ok, these people have super powers but they have normal kinds of attitudes, you know? They get pissed with each other and they argue about petty stuff and they can be smart a**es and they can be heroes and they can just be jerks. But they eventually are going to find a way to love each other.
  • It’s almost like and old “Our Gang'” movie. "Hey, I got some costumes, I got some film, my dad's got a studio. Let's go put on a show" And we just decided that we're going to have fun.

The Avengers Trailer