Why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Star Mark Ruffalo Almost Quit Acting for Good

Mark Ruffalo had a good run with the Avengers franchise. Now that the movies are coming to a close, it’s time for the actor to move on to his next projects. Ruffalo might be enjoying the fruits of his labor now, but he wasn’t always motivated to stay in the acting game. There was a time when he wanted to quit and look for another career. Here’s why Avengers: Endgame star Mark Ruffalo almost quit acting for good.

Mark Ruffalo wanted to be an actor ever since he was a child

Mark Ruffalo| Brad Barket/Getty Images
Mark Ruffalo| Brad Barket/Getty Images

The acting bug bit Ruffalo as a child. He knew he wanted a career in Hollywood, so he attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting to sharpen his acting skills. He later co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company. As a result of his theatre work, he got small television and movie roles. However, his career began to take off after meeting with playwright Kenneth Lonergan.

Ruffalo had several roles in Lonergan’s plays. One of his most memorable appearances was in This Is Our Youth. After that, he starred in Lonergan’s 2000 film You Can Count on Me. This led to more movie roles such as Collateral (2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Shutter Island (2010), The Kids Are All Right (2010), and Foxcatcher (2014). Ruffalo received Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Kids Are Alright, Foxcatcher, and Spotlight.

Mark Ruffalo’s acting career

Mark Ruffalo|Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic
Mark Ruffalo|Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Mark Ruffalo made his television debut in 1989 in an episode of the CBS Summer Playhouse TV series. He played Michael Dunn in an episode titled “American Nuclear.” That same year, he appeared in the television movie American Nuclear. Ruffalo made his film debut in the 1994 movie Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance, in which he played the character Christian.

Ruffalo got his big break after appearing in the 2000 movie You Can Count on Me. That same year, he had a recurring role in the television series The Beat. He played the character Zane Marinelli for eight episodes.

Why Mark Ruffalo almost quit acting

Mark Ruffalo| Jim Spellman/WireImage
Mark Ruffalo| Jim Spellman/WireImage

Although Ruffalo is enjoying success now, it didn’t come easily. In an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Ruffalo spoke about how he struggled for years to get his acting career off the ground. According to the actor, it took decades before he would finally make it big. He told the host he is “a 30-year overnight sensation.”

Ruffalo said it took 600 auditions to break into acting. “It’s been mythologized now but it started with about 600 auditions without success,” said Ruffalo about his long road to success. “Most smart people would have quit when it takes that long.” The struggle began to wear on Ruffalo, so he contemplated throwing in the towel. Ruffalo said he seriously considered quitting show business. However, his mother wouldn’t let him give up on his dream of becoming an actor. “I couldn’t do anything else and she told me if I tried to quit, she wouldn’t speak to me again,” recalled Ruffalo.

Read more: Mark Ruffalo Net Worth and Earnings from ‘The Avengers’

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