My great aunt, who was quite comfortable financially, used to cut napkins in half at the dinner table.

When I asked my mother why, she told me it was because our aunt had grown up during the Great Depression, and no matter how much you have later, you never quite get over those lean times, psychologically. I was reminded of this when the man Esquire just called “possibly the best actor in Hollywood right now” told me he still doesn’t really believe he’s out of the woods yet, career-wise. The image that came to mind was my aunt at the kitchen table. My aunt, the napkin-cutter.

And when you do the math, how can you blame Mark Ruffalo? This is a guy who kicked around the minor leagues of bad indie film, overlooked by the scouts, for nearly a decade. This is a guy who quit the business five separate times in total despair and discouragement. This is a guy who was hungry, and I don’t mean career-wise (though he was that, too). I mean he literally didn’t have enough money to eat, more times than he could count. This is a guy who had run-ins with the LAPD because he couldn’t afford to pay the bullshit parking tickets he had racked up. This is a guy who went on 800 auditions before he got a part in a movie. No, that’s not a typo. Let me spell it out for you. Eight hundred motherfucking auditions. Have you ever been to an audition? Conjure an image of being strip-searched at the Mexican border and you get a rough idea of a pleasant one. The number 800 is mind-numbing. It defies imagination. This is one of the nicest guys I’ve met in Hollywood or out and who, for my money, is one of the most prodigiously talented actors alive right now… and for a long, long time nobody in the movie world noticed.

Until Kenneth Lonergan did. God bless Lonergan, the director who had the vision to pluck Ruffalo from the equivalent of AA Toledo and put him into the starting line-up for a major league contender called You Can Count On Me. What did Ruffalo do? He became rookie of the year. An overnight success! America loved him. The parts started coming. And now he’s on the cover of MovieMaker! Ah, what a difference a little vision can make.

These days, of course, he’s on one huge roll, impressing the movie world with major roles opposite the likes of Robert Redford, Jim Carrey, and Nicolas Cage. He’s routinely paired with the loveliest and most talented leading ladies in the business, such as Meg Ryan (In the Cut), Naomi Watts (We Don’t Live Here Anymore), Jennifer Garner (13 Going on 30), Gwyneth Paltrow (A View From the Top) and others. But rest assured that no matter what dizzy heights he achieves, it’s not going to his head. Ruffalo is happily married (to the very lovely actress Sunrise Coigney), has a son of his own and has survived not only the long early career draught, but a brain tumor a couple of years ago that put everything into perspective, as if he needed that. He’s on top now, but he’ll never forget the horrors of those days in his own Hollywood Ghetto, when he’d bury himself in the library stacks and absorb the great playwrights because he was burning with desire to learn all he could—and because an occupied mind is better equipped at ignoring an empty stomach.

If you met Mark Ruffalo, you’d like him. As the suit guy says, I guarantee it. Saying he’s down to earth doesn’t even do it justice. He’s fiercely intelligent and deceptively articulate. He speaks slowly and deliberately, in fits and starts, and then a golden sentence dripping with wisdom and humor flows from his lips so eloquently that it stops you cold in your mental tracks. He’s a sponge of emotion; he’s nobody’s fool. He’s an actor who will be in demand for a long, long time. But you know what—if you ever have dinner with him and he cuts his napkin in half, do me a favor and don’t look surprised. Just go with it.

Even though it’s estimated that almost 5,000 films were made last year, the film community is a much more intimate place than you might imagine.

I first met Mark Ruffalo at a party at his house in 1997, shortly after I made a feature film called Men in Scoring Position, which starred a friend of his named Alan Gelfant. Alan, whom I’d cast after seeing his starring performance in a low-budget feature called The Destiny of Marty Fine, had taken me to the party. Ruffalo, his Marty Fine co-star, was also the screenwriter of that almost perfect little indie film.

He was multi-talented even then, but as mentioned above, these were the days when Ruffalo couldn’t get arrested in Hollywood. Well, that’s probably not a good way to put it. But he couldn’t get hired. For a film, anyway. Not for an actual part. So he took matters into his own hands and wrote Marty Fine. More on this shortly.

As I write this, there’s been a veritable media frenzy around Ruffalo for a couple of months now. He’s on magazine covers, on TV talk shows, on new Internet fan sites, everywhere. In fact, I told Mark that at one point I wondered if we were doing the right thing by putting him on the cover of MovieMaker. I worried that he might be overexposed. But overexposed or not, he’s really the perfect MovieMaker cover. Everything he has, he earned himself, and in that Horatio Alger of Hollywood way we admire so much. Just as importantly, he’s never sold out. He’s all about the work, creating the next great character, being an artist. I’ll eat several issues of MM (the early, moldy ones in my basement) if this guy ever leaves the independent world behind for good. Mark Ruffalo deserves whatever accolades he gets. He’s one of the good guys, and his story makes you forget for a moment about the town’s boulevard-of-broken-dreams image for good guys.

At a late February breakfast at Hugo’s in West Hollywood we began by talking about a mutual friend, and where our paths had crossed before.

Mark Ruffalo (MR): You guys did something on The Destiny of Marty Fine in MovieMaker years ago, didn’t you?

Timothy Rhys, MovieMaker Magazine (MM): And we did something on Alan, too. I don’t know why we didn’t call you at the time.

MR: I was really pushed aside on that whole deal. Like I didn’t even exist.

MM: Have you ever wanted to remake it? It was such a great story. What was the impetus to write it?

MR: I have wanted to, but does that ever really happen? I wrote it because I was so sick of waiting, so sick of having to rely on other people. I was thinking, fuck this—I’m not getting any younger, I’m not getting anywhere, this is bullshit. I knew all these talented actors, like Alan, and no one was giving them jobs. It’s ridiculous, I kept thinking. So I decided to write a movie. But I didn’t know how to write a movie. (laughs) I was also fighting with my girlfriend a lot, and taking long walks at three in the morning. Horrible fights. And then I saw The Killing of A Chinese Bookie. I was steeping myself in Cassavetes at the time, and that was the kind of movie I wanted to do. While I was putting it together I was at the bar one night and these two guys were talking to each other and one of them says “Hey, I know you.” The mob was gonna kill him. As soon as they walked out of the bar I turned around and wrote down every single word, verbatim. And I wrote the movie around that scene.

MM: I caught it at some random four-walling in Seattle. I was about to cast my movie and it was like providence. I thought, ‘this Alan Gelfant is perfect.’ And he was. The problem was the ending. People love those happy endings.

MR: They do. It’s like In the Cut. When people talk about that movie they always say “I loved it… except for the ending.”

MM: An ending can change your whole perception of a movie one way or another, can’t it.

MR: And that’s why I think it didn’t do well.

MM: Which is a shame because there’s a lot to like.

MR: I think it’s a fantastic movie. It’s amazing.

MM: After seeing it my girlfriend referred to you as a “sexual deity.” (laughs). She wanted me to ask you about some of your In the Cut moves.

MR: Oh! (laughs)… I was just playing a character. Tell her I don’t have any of those moves, really.

MM: Earlier in your career there were those who said your range was limited; that you played the same kinds of roles over and over. I know you’ve heard it. ButI don’t think anybody’s saying that anymore.

MR: They’ll say it some more, but what can you do.

MM: Have you felt like you’ve had to prove yourself?

MR: Yeah. There’re so few real actors left that when you play a character and you actually do it well, they think that’s who you are.

MM: So consequently you only get offered those roles.

MR: I was offered all these roles like so there’s this guy… and he’s kind of a fuck-up… and then there’s this kid… that he befriends… It was You Can Count on Me over and over. (laughs)

MM: And one of the conflicts is that even if you like roles like that, you can get stereotyped, right?

MR: Yeah. I did XX/XY, which people said was similar to Terry in You Can Count on Me. They’re “boy-men.” I was stuck in these “boy-men” roles. I don’t feel like a boy-man.

MM: I think audiences are surprised when they find out your age. You have a very youthful appearance.

MR: Yeah. And I did well with those parts, but that comes from the theater, where I got to play everything, from boy-men to Edmund in “Long Day’s Journey into Night.”

MM: If you love a role but you’ve done something similar, do you reject it out of hand?

MR: Yeah, like Terry, who’s an iconoclastic character with a disbelief that he has the make-up to achieve the American dream. He doesn’t buy it; he’s an outsider. And those parts are really interesting to me. But I need a challenge, and I’ve been down that road.

MM: You hungry? Go ahead and order something.

MR: What do I want, what do I want… I had a bowl of oatmeal with my son at six o’clock.

MM: He’s two now? Three?

MR: He’s two and a half.

MM: How do you like raising kids in LA?

MR: Well, I’m here now. We have a house in upstate New York, too—an old farmhouse. It’s close to the city, and I love New York. But my wife opened a store here and we’re giving it a shot. She actually doesn’t like New York that much; she misses her friends here. And after the baby I was like, okay, whatever you want. You worked your ass off. You pushed that thing out and that’s like impossible. (laughs)

MM: I understand. So with XX/XY, you were trying to produce that in the beginning? You worked with (director) Austin Chick early on, didn’t you?

MR: Yeah, Austin and I were producing that movie, we just didn’t know it. I think it’s what a lot of independents do. I read for him, he cast me and we were going to make it on DV and shoot it in New York, guerrilla style. Then You Can Count on Me came out and suddenly somebody called Austin saying he wanted to put $500,000 into it now.

MM: So you enjoyed that process, the “producing”?

MR: Yeah, I did. The only other time I produced was on The Destiny of Mary Fine—where I co-produced and wrote the first draft. We shot it in 13 days—I was a grip, I was electric, I was the art department, I was a driver…

MM: (laughs) So you learned some of this from theater, or it was just on-the-job training?

MR: From theater, but we didn’t have a choice. We literally didn’t have money to hire anybody, so we were being trained to do all the grip work, lug cable and all that. We made it for about $100,000, which is nothing for a movie, you know that. It’s impossible. So that was my first foray into the moviemaking aspect of it.

MM: You’re such a masochist you wanted to do it again?

MR: You forget, I guess. After eight days I was with the other producer, Jeff [Miller], and we were driving somewhere; we’d been working 20 hours for days, he and I. Everyone else had gone home to sleep. But we had to drive this big Winnebago and dump this shit that was collected in the toilet reserves. It was overflowing, spilling out all the toilets, and we couldn’t find anywhere to dump it. And it was like three o’clock in the morning and we had a six a.m. call. And we both literally broke down and started sobbing. (laughs)

MM: You were on that emotional edge that all indie moviemakers know.

MR: Yeah. I said ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ And eventually it turned to laughter and we got through it. But I swore to God I’d never do another independent movie ever again.

MM: That was where you made your bones.

MR: Yeah, that was my film school. My next big jump back into it was We Don’t Live Here Anymore, which just sold at Sundance. (The ever-modest Ruffalo was the film’s executive producer and was instrumental in negotiations with Mark Gill of Warner Independent Pictures, which resulted in a $2 million sale. It was the company’s first acquisition.)

MM: I just saw that last night. What a great little film. Tell me about your involvement in that one.

MR: That was like the impossible task. I talked to [the director] John [Curran] in February, and he had less than three weeks of prep, because it came together so quickly. I called Naomi [Watts, who also produced] and Sam Rockwell; I called all the actors, asking them to do parts. And then as we were shooting I was the middleman between John and the money people. So there was a lot of negotiation I was doing between the shooting of the scenes. That whole movie was fraught with budgetary negotiations; it was difficult. It would constantly come down to fights between him and the line producer. Like we needed an extra day and they didn’t want to give it to him. They even wanted to take him off the movie at one point.

MM: You’d have to make phone calls on his behalf?

MR: Oh yeah, on the set, all the time…

MM: That had to be pretty distracting.

MR: It’s very distracting. I’ve been in the process from day one to cutting, and I consider myself more of a creative producer than an executive. But that’s the title I ended up with.

MM: Did you like producing, in general?

MR: It’s not my favorite thing, man. I wanted to be there because I believed in that film, and I know enough now about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve never left independent films and I’ve also been on the studio side. I’ve made my own movie. I’ve just been around it long enough to know what needs to be done to help a movie find success. To carry it to the point where it makes it to a Sundance, you know?

MM: Tell me about the film you’re planning to direct.

MR: It’s called Sympathy for Delicious. Christopher Thornton and I have been working on it since 1999. We’ve got Nic Cage attached. It’s a wild story, about an arrogant guy in a wheelchair. He’s like the anti movie paraplegic—a selfish, cocky asshole. And he gets the gift to heal, but he can’t heal himself. So he takes this gift and starts “healapalooza.” He becomes a compassionate man through these exploits. It’s like a rise and fall story.

MM: The public, now, is starting to know who you are. I always give it the “mother test.” If my mother knows who you are, you’re officially a household name. My mother thinks she’s heard of you, so you’re almost there. In the airport I just bought the new Esquire, where you’re the coverboy. Mark Ruffalo has style on his speed dial is the cover line.

MR: I was on the plane last night coming back from New York and the flight attendant says “Are you Mark Ruffalo?” I said “Yeah.” And she said “You don’t look like you.” And then she says “Do you know that there are five people in business class reading your Esquire right now?” That was too weird.

MM: They talked a lot about your French wife. That was a big topic in that “interview.”

MR: Yeah, that really seemed to excite them.

MM: Do you bring your characters home with you?

MR: It depends. On In the Cut, I was living in that world for two months before we shot.

MM: I read something that said you got engaged when you were shooting XX/XY, and you “ran to your marriage” right after.

MR: Yeah, I was really happy to get married after that movie. I think something always comes home, because you’re living in that world and experience a little bit. That’s the way I work, anyway. But that doesn’t mean I sleep in the guy’s shorts and do that crazy stuff actors do.

MM: So you’re not Daniel Day-Lewis.

MR: Hey, I wish I was Daniel Day-Lewis. But I don’t think it would give me anything extra. I think In the Cut, as far as “character work,” is probably the best thing I’ve done on screen.

MM: You were terrific.

MR: Thank you. It was so different for me.

MM: Loved the ’stache.

MR: It’s a great ’stache, bro. (laughs) And during that, I was living that character. Nick Damici, the guy who played my partner, and I were going out every night in those clothes. We did all that stuff; we had all the accoutrements. And Jane [Campion] would do things like throw you into an improvisation when you were having dinner with the rest of the cast.

MM: You’ve said that Jane knew how to take you places as an actor that you had never been to.

MR: She kept going for a deeper cut on this character. Jane was always like “Stand up straight. Don’t move around. Be a man. Put it inside. Internalize the turmoil.” And that was a great lesson for me in acting.

MM: You were very assertive and aggressive, which is something a lot of your characters don’t have.

MR: Right. They don’t have that. He’s the kind of guy who has to establish his dominance the second he walks in. Some actors will put all that on the surface. But we were more interested in that thing about somebody that dominates by stillness and by intent.

MM: Did you think consciously about that when performing, or when she said “action,” you inherently knew what to do?

MR: Eventually I had the character under my belt. An actor’s nirvana is when he doesn’t have to think about it.

MM: I’d think you’d have to take some of this home with you. Like you forget to take him off.

MR: My wife was like “Hey, relax!” It was the only time where I think it really came home with me, because my days consisted of 75 percent Malloy and 25 percent Mark. I’d leave the house at 11 in the morning, go meet with the detectives. I’d hang out with detectives all the time. We’d have drinks at 2 in the afternoon. We’d be chain-smoking cigarettes, drinking, shooting the shit, looking at pictures of crime scenes, hearing procedural stuff, hearing the stories. Even to survive as someone who was trying to garner trust from those men, you have to show some strength. It was so hard for me to perforate the “PR shell” of the New York homicide detective scene.

MM: You must live for roles like that.

MR: I do, I love it. You know, I’m getting older now, and have more responsibilities to my family and to the business aspect of what I do. When I was doing just theater I’d immerse myself in those characters and the background work. When you work on a period piece you go to the library and you pull the pictures and you find out the music that people were listening to, and what was going on socially and in the arts scene. And I’d just immerse myself in the world of the play. And it was great because I was broke, and all that I had that gave me any kind of comfort was the world of the plays.

MM: But did you really go on 800 auditions?

MR: I went on 800 auditions. My agent said to me “Mark, for the average actor it takes 100 auditions to get a job. You’ve had 230 and you haven’t booked a job… honey.”

MM: That number’s turned into something mythological.

MR: Yeah, and my friends are like, “that’s bullshit.” But the thing is, the whole time I was doing theater, and I did book theater jobs. It was 800 commercial auditions, episodic auditions, etc. It was 800 auditions before I booked something that was not as a day player… before I booked a “part.” My first real part in a film didn’t come until You Can Count on Me.

MM: I read somewhere that you were about to quit forever. Maybe it was on that 799th audition…

MR: I must’ve quit out of anger and hatred five times, maybe more. And then once that subsided I would come back. But then one real time, I was like ‘I am done with this.’

MM: How did you support yourself all those years?

MR: I was bartending, I was painting houses, landscaping, scamming, whatever anybody does. And this one time when I said I’d really had it, my mom actually talked me out of it.

MM: So it was just the Love of Acting that kept bringing you back?

MR: Inside I really did feel like I had something to contribute. But the world was always saying ‘No!’ over and over and over again.

MM: So you’re originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, you went to Virginia Beach when you were 13, and then you moved to San Diego when you were 18?

MR: Yeah, my dad was like an entrepreneur, doing all kinds of different stuff. And when I was in San Diego I was just surfing, being a bum.

MM: But you wanted to go to LA to act?

MR: The acting bug came when I was in my senior year of high school. I’d always wanted to do it. I was like the class clown, always cutting up, but I was a wrestler and the seasons didn’t coincide. But my senior year I said I don’t want to fucking wrestle, I hate this. I want to learn more, I want to be an artist—that was my initial thing. And acting seemed like the easiest art form to learn, you know? (laughs). So I did a play my senior year, and the rush of it was just intoxicating. And so that was it. So I tried to go to junior college in San Diego and take an acting class there, but it was ridiculous. They were doing this over-the-top, sitcom-type acting. It didn’t look like the kind of acting I wanted to do. And then I heard about Stella Adler and it was here in LA, so I took the train every other day. I was bussing tables down there to pay for my train tickets. My dad was busted.

MM: What are you working on right now?

MR: I’m taking a little break, trying to put together financing for Sympathy.

MM: Doesn’t seem like financing should be a huge problem for you.

MR: Mostly it’s nailing down Nic Cage’s schedule.

MM: I interviewed Judy Greer last week, who’s worked with both you and Nic. She had a lot of nice things to say about you. I’m going to embarrass you now. She said, and I quote: “He’s a real actor. He’s private and sweet and quiet and kind, and he takes it very seriously. He wants every moment to be the best it can be. When I work with someone like him, it’s dreamy. He’ll challenge you and make you rise to the occasion.”

MR: She’s a great lady, man.

MM: She’s very witty. So you’re not acting in Sympathy?

MR: I’m directing, not acting, no. Getting out of that acting racket, man.

MM: Well, you’ve got a history of that, right? You just get where you want to be and then you take a couple of years off—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, right? (laughs)

MR: (laughs) Right! But I actually do feel like I’m heading into a mandatory withdrawal.

MM: Really? You need a little breather?

MR: Yeah, I’m tired, man.

MM: In the press you seem to be stereotyped by journalists (and co-stars) as this sweet, gentle guy who likes flowers… It’s a part of who you are, but they always emphasize that part, and not what a warrior you are—that aspect of your personality that’s allowed you to keep going and achieve what you have to this point.

MR: No doubt there’s always that struggle. For me it’s a matter of survival. You have to have a fierceness that allows you to keep going.

MM: The good news is I think you’ve gotten beyond that now. Those days are pretty much over.

MR: No. No, they’re not. That’s the thing. I still come up against all the objections. “Mark’s not funny,” or “Mark’s not enough of this or enough of that” for a given part. Whatever the preconceptions are, I still get that. And then there’s that whole brutal scale of what your name is supposedly worth; the “bankability” factor. And I guess I still don’t rank very high. But even if I were to stay at this level, I’m okay with that. My family’s eating pretty well these days.

MM: A lot of actors would kill to be at this level, Mark.

MR: I’m still not too “big” that I can’t go anywhere… I’m an actor, man, and that’s what it’s about.

MM: I heard you like to go to the subways and observe people, and even run lines down there. Hard to do that if you’re too recognizable, I guess.

MR: Yeah, although in New York they don’t care if you’re Brad Pitt, they’re not easily impressed.

MM: Keitel and Duvall both said they’re always observing and filing away behaviors that strike an emotional chord with them personally. You do that, too.

MR: Yeah. And it’s funny because I don’t even realize that I’m filing things, really, but I do, constantly.

MM: When you withdraw for a while, do you go to your place in upstate New York?

MR: Yeah. We’re going to spend some time there this summer, for sure.

MM: You said that after you got sick you lost a lot of confidence. Did you mean personal confidence, or as an actor, and how did you go about getting that back? Does it change your perspective forever?

MR: Well, part of it is forever, but a lot of it I’ve gotten over. You have all these insecurities, like will I ever be able to act again… I mean, they were probing around in my brain, cutting stuff out. (laughs). You wonder if that will affect your abilities. I was literally falling down for months, the side of my face wouldn’t move for months, I couldn’t remember how to get home. But now… I actually feel like I’m a much stronger actor today. Obviously it colors your perceptions of mortality. You find out what you’re made of. All of my fears were survival-based and ego-based, and I guess that’s where most people’s fears are based—they’re “loss” fears. I felt like I was losing it, and then I realized ‘I’ll survive.’ And after going through that fear and living with it for a year, I had a different perspective. Certain characters I wanted to play, or going from a studio movie to an independent where you might’ve worried before that you’d be seen as taking a step down… Or if you don’t play a leading man all the time they might consider you a “character actor…” Oh, God, not that! Please don’t label me a character actor! And being apprehensive about difficult material because of how it might affect your career… All those crazy questions that go through your mind,I came to realize are just bullshit!

MM: So at a certain point you had an epiphany that you no longer give a damn what people think—as an artist you’re going to do what you want to do.

MR: I’ve gotten a lot less worried about it, I’ll tell you that. I just feel so much more free. I can happily defy the voice that says “You can’t do this.” You know, that editor voice. I’ve realized that I want my life to be my life, not my agent’s life, not my mom’s life, not my wife’s life—my life. That was what I came away from that whole experience feeling.

MM: Maybe everybody should have a (benign) brain tumor. (laughs) But seriously, so many people don’t come to those conclusions until it’s too late, if ever.

MR: I tell people that it was this great blessing that happened to me. I’m extremely fortunate that I can look at it that way.

MM: You’ve specialized in playing loners and “intelligent losers.” Do you see yourself continuing with those types of characters, or do you only want to stretch from here? And part two, what character have you played that you relate to most?

MR: Well, I want to stretch far. I think I’d still have to say Terry. Not because my life is like that in any way, but more because I understand the moral dilemmas. You know, the system is set up so that you work your life away and you get dumped in the end. He’s too smart to accept that system, but there’s really no alternative for him. I think a lot of people from our generation have felt like that.

MM: And you personally have felt like that at times, right?

MR: Oh, I definitely have. I’ve been told so many times, “Mark, if you just went to more parties, you’d work more.” There’s this moral dilemma where if you network more you work more. If you have a more cool personality, if you schmooze more… all these things that are part of it.

MM: And it’s true, right?

MR: Oh, it’s totally true, but the trick to longevity is… Actually, I don’t know what the fuck the trick is. The part I know is working your ass off, going to the theater, reading the great writers, knowing what great writing looks like. My friends were doing scenes from sitcoms and going to parties and that was a practice that was considered a real sound business model. I just never bought it. I did the plays.

MM: You enjoy universally good reviews for your acting, and it’s often said that your performances are “nuanced.” How would you explain how to create a “nuanced” performance? How do you make it real?

MR: You just have to go through the process; live in the inner world of that character. You think the thoughts of that character. If your character says one line, you have to know the 10 different thoughts that were distilled down to that line. The words to an actor are almost meaningless. The thoughts behind the line are everything. There are so many tricks, but the things that work for you, you stick with. One thing my teacher said to me which clicked was “Always look for the opposite.” I’ve really lived by that.

MM: You’ve called acting “heartbreaking.” What does that mean to you?

MR: Well, I may have been referring to the professional aspects of it, but there is of course a heartbreaking quality to being human that we examine as actors. We know that everything succumbs in the long run—everything ends in death, dispersion, dissolution. (laughs) Everything is so concentrated when you act. And you become acutely aware of this state of affairs after you have a child.

MM: So what do you do for fun?

MR: I hang out with my kid. We go swimming. I try to make love to my wife. (laughs). We go to the beach. I hang out with my friends, we have a bottle of wine. We have a few bottles of wine. I read…

MM: It’s refreshing to hear an answer like that. It’s the kind I’d give. So many times an actor will launch into his extreme sports adventures, or—

MR: —What, you’re not rebuilding your ’68 Ford? You don’t collect antique guns? I sometimes feel like a totally boring, asshole actor.

MM: Maybe you live more of an interior life. Maybe. Just to give boring guys like us the benefit of the doubt. Who knows. Maybe we’re just boring.

MR: Maybe not. Not to all people. MM