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The Bizarre Way Mark Ruffalo Found Out He Was Cast In The Avengers

Scoring a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be a life-changing moment for an actor, but there are some roles that are more nerve-wracking than others. Take the Hulk, for instance. The role's dual nature means that portraying the MCU's angry, green giant requires the actor to play two extremely different roles — the perpetually exasperated genius known as Bruce Banner, and the child-like force of nature that is the Hulk. What's more, there's plenty of precedent to compare the performance with. By the time Mark Ruffalo took on the role in 2012's "The Avengers," the character had already appeared in the MCU in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," in which Edward Norton played the part, and in Ang Lee's pre-MCU movie "Hulk," starring Eric Bana.

By now, of course, it's hard to imagine anyone but Ruffalo playing the MCU version of the Hulk. However, there was a time when he was the guy from "Zodiac" and "Shutter Island," still waiting to hear whether he got that big role in "The Avengers." It was, no doubt, a strange time for the actor — and now, Ruffalo has revealed the bizarre way he found out he was cast in "The Avengers."

Mark Ruffalo's early-morning limo ride

MCU productions are notoriously secretive, but Mark Ruffalo's agent went the extra mile when the actor was waiting to hear back from Marvel (per CBR). "I got a call saying, 'Wake up tomorrow at four o'clock in the morning," Ruffalo revealed. "Look out your window. If there's a limo there, you're doing the part. If not, go back to bed.'" 

As you can probably guess, Ruffalo's early wake-up call was a happy one, and he found himself stepping in a limousine ... which was the first step on his way to the 2010 San Diego International Comic-Con, where the news of his casting was revealed to the public. Ruffalo would soon become notorious for playing the dual roles of Bruce Banner and the Hulk, and appropriately enough, the actor's response to seeing the fancy car that had been sent to take him to his MCU future was somewhat mixed. "I was happy," he said. "And I was scared to death."