Eric Bana Reveals His Frustrations At Playing The Hulk


Technology has long since advanced to a point where Mark Ruffalo suits up in a motion capture leotard to get into thick of the action as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Hulk, with the effects team doing the majority of the heavy lifting in post-production, but that wasn’t the case when Eric Bana played the role in Ang Lee’s 2003 blockbuster.

Despite being the leading man and star of the movie, Bana wasn’t involved at all whenever his giant green alter ego was onscreen, with the rest of the ensemble having to react to a massive rage monster when there wasn’t much more than a crude model being paraded around on set, with the film’s Bruce Banner left sitting on the sidelines.

It was the director who performed the majority of the mo-cap work for Hulk, with Lee even going so far as to tell Bana that he was part of a piece inspired by Greek tragedy, and the filmmaker was making a whole other movie packed with action sequences starring the title hero without him. Unsurprisingly, the actor doesn’t reflect too fondly on his time in the superhero genre, revealing at how frustrated he was by the approach.

“You go from Black Hawk Down where you’re shooting mainly daytime, exteriors, natural light. Boom: out in the world. To suddenly, I’m playing a scientist and I’m in a lab or a house, indoors. There’s this other movie going on with green screen that I have nothing to do with, because that’s the Hulk. It’s the other actors that are playing in that space. So in some ways it felt like a tiny movie because the reality for me was every day was interior, studio, one room, very few big scenes. Lots of dialogue. I don’t like working indoors.”

eric bana hulk

Coming off a boots on the ground war story like Black Hawk Down and heading straight into Hulk must have been a jarring experience, especially when Bana wasn’t required for any of the latter’s marquee set pieces and was effectively hired to deliver a dramatic performance and little else. That’s probably a huge reason why he signed on to Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy immediately afterwards, which gave him the chance to shoot outdoors and sink his teeth into some combat training and practical stunts.