Mark Ruffalo On Casting Rejection: “I Was Rejected 600 Times Before I Booked A Role”
He has been The Hulk in The Avengers, a memory eraser in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and a multitude of other roles in fan favourites like Shutter Island, Zodiac, Collateral, and loads more.
Like many celebrities Mark Ruffalo has faced continuous rejection. He persevered, and ended up working opposite industry favourite actors, in some of Hollywood’s biggest films. Ruffalo’s perseverance alone was not what kept him in the game and coming back for more auditions – apparently his mother told him that he ‘…couldn’t do anything else” and “if I tried to quit she wouldn’t speak to me again.”
‘It’s been mythologized now but it started with about 600 auditions without success,’ he said about his long slog to stardom. ‘Most smart people would have quit when it takes that long.’
A key part of being an actor is managing rejection. It’s all about being professional, not taking the rejection personally, and moving on quickly to prepare for your next opportunity.
There is nothing gained by feeling terrible over spilled milk, or a botched audition. Keep moving forward, and you never know what can happen – you may just pull a Mark Ruffalo.