THE AVENGERS: Joss Whedon On Harry Dean Stanton's Cameo; Why He Was Chosen For His Scene With Mark Ruffalo

THE AVENGERS: Joss Whedon On Harry Dean Stanton's Cameo; Why He Was Chosen For His Scene With Mark Ruffalo

The director explains why he cast the legendary actor in so specific a role next to Ruffalo's Bruce Banner, and why the scene was needed in the first place. Some SPOILERS ahead..

He may have made his name in some slightly more obscure/cult movies, but fans of cinema in general should be no stranger to Harry Dean Stanton. The 86 year old actor has appeared in such classics as Alien, Cool Hand Luke, Repo Man and Paris Texas to name but a few. And now he has a small, but very cool and funny cameo in Joss Whedon's The Avengers. Stanton plays a security guard who converses with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) after his slightly greener, angrier alter ego crashes to Earth. It's a great scene, and was originally quite a bit longer but had to be trimmed down. In an interview with Badass Digest Whedon explains why this little one on one was necessary for the character of Bruce Banner, and why Stanton was the perfect man for the job..

I needed to get Banner from the horror of what he had done and almost killing Scarlett - or Natasha, I should say - in to, you know, a place where he was prepared to go back into that [Hulk] state. He needs somebody who will just accept him.

It turns out Whedon was able to cast Stanton through his director of photography on The Avengers Seamus McGarvey, who had been shooting the actor as a subject for a documentary..

I sort of got him stuck in my head and I was like who is more accepting than Harry Dean Stanton? And, so I got to write this weird little scene - which when I wrote it was not little, it was about 12 pages long. I was like oh, this is great, Banner falls into a Coen Brothers movie! The fact that they even let me keep that concept and that we actually landed Harry Dean to play it was very exciting.

But the idea was to put [Banner] in a slightly surreal situation with somebody who clearly had no problem with [The Hulk], just to make that little transition without milking it too much. And besides, to work with Harry Dean and to quiz him about Alien and The Missouri Breaks? What a privilege.

The scene in question was actually a highlight for me (in a movie full of them), and I would have loved to see it play out a little longer as was originally written. Hopefully we will see it in its entirety at some point in the future.

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