EXCLUSIVE: Lou Ferrigno Talks LIBERATOR, THE AVENGERS And More
The actor responsible for bringing The Hulk to the small screen in CBS' The Incredible Hulk discusses his latest superhero role in Liberator, voicing The Hulk in The Avengers, what he thinks of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and much, much more.
Known best to comic book fans for portraying The Incredible Hulk in the CBS television series of the same name from 1978 to 1982, Lou Ferrigno was kind enough to recently take the time to answer my questions about his latest projects. Having made a name for himself as a professional bodybuilder, Ferrigno would go on to star as Hercules in the 1983 film and later took on memorable comedic turns (playing himself) in the likes of The King of Queens and I Love You, Man. At the moment, the actor can be seen in short film Liberator (in which he once again takes on a heroic role) as well as voicing the Hulk in Joss Whedon's upcoming superhero ensemble, Marvel's The Avengers. He's also starring in NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, Sundays 9/8c.
How exactly did you become involved with Liberator?
I got a phone call from Jim Cirile and he told me that he had written a script with a fantastic idea and that he had me in mind for the lead role. Jim’s known me for a while and after reading the concept, I knew it was a great opportunity as it would show a different side of acting for me. It was a great script and a good movie as well.
Could you tell us about how you prepared for the role?
After reading the script, the Liberator character had a lot of similarities in my own life as I have had to deal with rejection. My character has literally gone from hero to zero in this film. This was the perfect vehicle to show the determination that I’ve had throughout the years and a lot of fun to show this on camera. Life is full of challenges. Do you let them stop you, or do you find a way to overcome them?
It looks like great fun, and despite it being a short movie, it sounds as if your character goes through an interesting and complex story arc. What was it like to balance that with the action scenes?
It’s great that it’s an action film but yes my character has a fascinating story. He used to be very powerful superhero, and yet he is vulnerable, especially when it comes to his daughter. He'll do anything to get her back, but it may be too late, and this is killing him. There was some great in-depth acting along with a lot of action, it worked out really well.
Are you interested in playing The Liberator again perhaps in another short film or even a full length feature?
I am definitely interested, either as a feature film or as a Liberator television series.
This obviously isn't your first heroic role, but was it easier to wear a costume rather than all that green make-up you needed to put on for The Incredible Hulk?
No question about it, I didn’t have to deal with all of the make-up, I just focused on the character. It was a lot easier and fun.
You've recently launched "Ferrigno FIT". Can you tell us both about that and how you still stay in such great shape?
Ferrigno FIT is a great website that deals with Lou Lifestyle. On the site I address food nutrition, updates on Celebrity Apprentice and how to train and stay in shape. I still have the same training routine 5 days a week with 45 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardio.
Fans in the US can currently see you in action on Celebrity Apprentice. How has that experience been so far?
It’s been great as its showing the world another side of me as a business man. It’s showing how I deal with adversity, my business strategies, and how to deal with egos, the experience has been great.
Seeing you take on roles in the likes of I Love You, Man, King of Queens and Chuck was great fun - do you have any more plans to return to comedy?
Yes, I’d love to return to comedy as I enjoying doing it. I’m reading different scripts and hoping the right projects come along. My ultimate goal is to be on a sitcom as I enjoy making people laugh.
Can you tell us about what exactly your work on The Avengers involved? Do you get more lines as The Hulk this time?
I did the voice for The Hulk, I did the growl and everything for the character in the film. I’m excited about that it will be great for everyone to hear me as the Hulk on The Avengers.
How does it feel to still be associated so closely with a character you played a huge role in making as famous as he is?
Well the legacy has been going on for 40 years and it’s great to still be associated with the character while I am constantly reinventing myself. The Hulk character will continue living on for generations.
What do you think about Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner?
I think it’s great and I think Mark is a great actor; it’s going to be great as The Avengers is $300 million budget. Mark has what it takes like Bill Bixby had and I’m excited to see him.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions! What else is coming up for you?
Mostly I’m working on Ferrigno FIT and also I am looking forward to the grand finale of Celebrity Apprentice to see the turnout. Also I’m reading various scripts for my next projects.
Visit the official Liberator website by clicking HERE. You can find more details on "Ferrigno FIT" HERE and you can find Lou on Twitter at @LouFerrigno. Many thanks to Theo Dumont (and Hanna Surman) at Dumont Marketing for their assistance in setting the interview up. Here is the trailer, poster and synopsis for Liberator.
Al Migliocetti (Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk) has served his country. When the war began, he put aside his football career to sign up for the military. And when the powers-that-be drafted him into the Enhanced Abilities Initiative, he became known as The Liberator. Teamed with a group of "supers" – Sidewinder, Gaia and Volt – Liberator represented the best of America. Or so he thought. He soon found himself doing the government's dirty work – assassinations, regime change, infrastructure sabotage. Through it all, Al followed orders. He was a good soldier.
But when a black op went horribly wrong, Al was thrown under the bus – the fall guy. In the blink of an eye, the Liberator literally went from hero to zero. After serving a decade in federal prison, he emerged a pariah. In the eyes of the public, he was a traitor. That, quite, frankly, he could take. What he couldn't take was his own daughter Sonya (Jessica Jade Andres) hating him.
Determined to set the record straight and win her back, Al pens a tell-all book that draws the ire of his former chief, General Augustus Pollard (Michael Dorn, Star Trek: The Next Generation). Pollard dispenses CIA spook Marla Criswell (Peta Wilson, La Femme Nikita) to investigate. When they realize that Al plans to blow the whistle after all these years, they have no choice but to take him out. After Al battles his way out of a US military contractor's compound, President Whitlock (Ed Asner, Up) declares the Liberator Public Enemy Number One – and sends Al's old teammates (Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Tara Cardinal) to bring him down by any means necessary. But this time, the Liberator is not going down without a fight.
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