Mark Ruffalo Once Suggested 2 Marvel Stars to Play She-Hulk Before Tatiana Maslany Won the Role

Before Tatiana Maslany, Marvel star Mark Ruffalo had his own ideas for who should play Hulk’s cousin She-Hulk. But the two actors he mentioned already had roles in other Marvel superhero projects.

‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ addressed a pressing question Mark Ruffalo had about his Hulk character

Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany at 'She-Hulk' premiere.
Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Ruffalo recently enjoyed a pivotal role in the Disney + series She-Hulk. In the hit show Ruffalo’s Hulk helps his cousin hone and adjust her newfound superpowers.

The series offered both fans and Ruffalo himself a chance to explore another side of Hulk’s life that hadn’t been before. This addressed a question Ruffalo has long pondered about Hulk and Hulk’s alter-ego Bruce Banner.

“It was something that I’ve always sort of wondered: How does Hulk or Banner live their lives? I mean, if he is living on his own, like, how does he not hit his head on doorframes? It just opened up a whole world that’s really funny and playful that I was craving after COVID,” Ruffalo once said in an interview with Variety.

The show’s tone was a huge relief considering the real-life issues Ruffalo had to deal with.

“It was light. It was playful with other people. It wasn’t in Zoom. It was like a desperation for me when I got to it, to have that kind of experience after being locked down and imprisoned, in a way,” Ruffalo said.

Mark Ruffalo once suggested 2 Marvel stars to play She-Hulk before Tatiana Maslany won the role

Ruffalo was interested in opening up Hulk’s world long before She-Hulk. One aspect of Hulk’s world Ruffalo briefly thought about was She-Hulk. In a 2014 Reddit AMA, Ruffalo was asked who he would’ve liked to see pick up the then-vacant role of Jennifer Walters. The actor mentioned two well-known names in the role.

“Well I think Zoe Saldana would be a great She-Hulk. It’d be nice to see someone like her join The Avengers. Or someone quiet and demure like Emma Stone would be nice. But it would be up to the powers that be,” Ruffalo said.

Zoe Saldana was already cast in The Guardians of the Galaxy as Gamora at the time of Ruffalo’s AMA. So it seemed unlikely that she would’ve ever been approached for the role. Meanwhile, Emma Stone was already playing Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacey in The Amazing Spider-Man movies.

Although a Marvel character at the time, Stone’s Gwen Stacey was a part of the Spider-Man franchise ran by Sony. So perhaps if She-Hulk made a much earlier introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, casting Stone might not have been too jarring. Especially since the MCU cast the likes of Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan. Both actors starred in Marvel films distributed by another studio, so there was a precedent set for this type of casting already.

Tatiana Maslany was hesitant to do ‘She-Hulk’

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Years after Ruffalo’s Reddit AMA, the MCU would pick Maslany as its official She-Hulk. But initially, Maslany wasn’t sure about taking the role. The MCU has changed many actor’s lives for the better. But it’s also given stars a certain amount of attention Maslany wasn’t sure she was comfortable with.

“I had always been wary of entering this universe or doing anything of this scale,” Maslany told Elle fairly recently. “There’s a part of me that always feels a bit more comfortable in a smaller piece. Just something that I can guarantee will be focused on character, guarantee will be collaborative.”

But Maslany was so enamored by the script that she couldn’t reject the opportunity despite her reservations.

“It just spoke to me in a way that I was like, ‘I don’t know that I can do this,'” Maslany said. “And that’s exciting to me.”