Major Marvel Stars Admit They Don’t Understand Their Dialogue

By Britta DeVore | Published

While the world of Marvel is vast with different heroes and villains, each holding different powers and reasons behind their actions, two characters are more brain than brawn – kind of.

Robert Downey Jr. And Mark Ruffalo

This can definitely be said for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, while Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner was a beautiful mix of both brains and brawn.

During a recent interview with Variety, the longtime friends and co-workers shared that the toughest part about appearing in superhero films was the language that their characters used when discussing science and technology.

Science In Marvel?

Admitting to not always knowing what the heck Tony Stark was getting at, Robert Downey Jr. said, “You and I, the science bros, we would’ve these long passages about absolute gobbledygook…”

With Mark Ruffalo simply confirming with a “…bullshit.”

Despite not always understanding the full scientific scope of the broad use of quantum physics throughout the Marvel films, Downey Jr. noted that it was “important” to both actors because they were dedicated to their characters.

Getting Through The Script?

mark ruffalo

Still, Ruffalo says, “We didn’t know what that was, what that meant,” with both men admitting that memorizing specific lines was a tough task.

While their Marvel characters may have been the brainiacs of the Avengers, coming up with complicated plans alongside Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, the duo felt like they were sometimes just getting through the script. Maybe hoping to sell their performances the best that they could at any cost.

Other Projects

Considering the challenges they had absorbing their lines on the set of Marvel films, it’s almost funny that both Ruffalo and Downey Jr. ended up rounding out 2023 in two very scientific projects.

For the former, he’ll soon appear in Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest project, Poor Things, with the latter giving a dynamite performance in Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster, Oppenheimer.

Though both roles threw plenty of scientific ideas at them, perhaps it was their background as science and tech pros, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, that gave them a specific edge to their latest performances.

First In Zodiac

All science to the side, while Ruffalo and Downey Jr. both left huge marks on the Marvel franchise as a whole, the pair go way back in not only friendship but also film appearances.

It all started with David Fincher’s 2007 film, Zodiac, about the titular killer who, to this day, has never been caught.

The feature was dark, tapping into the sheer panic that gripped the city and surrounding areas of San Francisco during the killer’s reign of terror that eventually ended as quickly as it began. 

Marvel Actors Throughout

mark ruffalo

The classic piece of dramatized true crime cinema saw Downey Jr. as a standoffish crime reporter with Ruffalo appearing as one of the police detectives assigned to the baffling case.

Oddly enough (or not as Marvel is a seemingly all-encompassing universe), the pair also starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal who would go on to play Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019.

End Of Marvel For At Least One?

Despite their Marvel connections, these days, audiences will likely catch Ruffalo and Downey Jr. in something outside of the superhero films. Downey Jr. bowed out as Tony Stark aka Iron Man in the last Avengers movie, Avengers: Endgame.

Of course, there’s always a chance that the creative folks behind the franchise could bring Tony Stark back especially since viewership numbers have been on a massive decline over the last year.

Should the pair be on screen together again, we can only hope that they’ll have plenty of scientific jargon to muddle through and sell because we know they’re more than up to the task.