How Mark Ruffalo gave the Hulk a new voice in 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Five years after dismissing Loki as a “puny god” in The Avengers, the Hulk’s vocabulary is puny no more. Thor: Ragnarok finds the green Goliath speaking in complete sentences in between his usual grunts and roars. Not only that, but he utters those complete sentences in a new voice as well. While Lou Ferrigno — who played the Hulk in the classic ’70s TV series — lent his pipes to past Marvel movies, Mark Ruffalo reveals to Yahoo Entertainment that he’s the one intoning such deep thoughts as “Hulk like fire, Thor like water.”

“When Hulk is speaking, that’s me,” the actor says. “That’s me on the day, in my motion capture suit, and they’re capturing my voice.” (Watch our video interview above.)

Of course, Ruffalo does give his predecessor credit for inspiring his vocal performance. “That’s who I watched playing the Hulk growing up. It’s definitely a nod to you, Lou. You influenced that.” Ruffalo also confirms that he performed many of his alter ego’s fighting moves in the gladiator ring where the Hulk and Thor square off. “I tried to do it all, the stuff I’m physically capable of. I can’t jump through the air like [him]!” Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment in a separate interview, Ragnarok visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison says that the Hulk’s new voice impacted the way they approached the design for the character. “Hulk can talk now, and maybe he can talk because a bit of Banner has bled through. So if you go that way, you say, ‘Maybe he looks a little bit more like Ruffalo.'” Does this mean the world is ready for a hunky Hulk?

Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on Friday. Look for our full interviews with Morrison and other Ragnarok behind-the-scenes artists next week. 

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