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Santa Barbara International Film Festival Honors Mark Ruffalo with American Riviera Award. 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—He’s “The Hulk” in “The Avengers,” the romantic lead in “13 Going on 30,” and the “good guy” in nearly every role. 

Now, Mark Ruffalo is up for an Oscar for his role in “Poor Things.” 

“I knew Mark Ruffalo was gonna get nominated and that this was one of the major films of the year,” said Santa Barbara International Film Festival Executive Director Roger Durling. 

It’s not your typical period piece. 

“ I’d never really done anything quite like it… so I had a lot of trepidation about it,” said American Riviera Award Recipient Mark Ruffalo.

Set during what seems to be the Victorian era, a young woman brought to life by an unorthodox scientist runs off with a lawyer— played by Ruffalo— on a whirlwind adventure across the world. 

“There's something very freeing about this movie for me personally, and I don't know how the audiences are going to respond to it. I've heard so many different responses, but all I can say is that for me it was just an incredibly freeing experience,” said Ruffalo. 

Ruffalo’s character serves as a foil to Bella Baxter— played by Emma Stone. She is completely uninhibited and raw, and learns to advocate for herself and others without fear of how her stances will come across. 

Just like Bella Baxter, Ruffalo is known to advocate for a variety of causes. from drawing attention to climate change to calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

“I just think that as actors, we have a we owe it to the world to, to speak up for people who are less fortunate than us and to use this platform, you know, for other things than just serving ourselves. That was the training that I had. I studied with Stella Adler, who is very politically savvy, and part of the tradition that she came from was to was to really stand up for the little guy,” said Ruffalo. 

Ruffalo made sure to take the time to sign autographs and take photos with enthusiastic fans on the red carpet. 

“I'm so excited to see the beginning of his career to now. And as a child who sees him as a superhero, this green big guy, but also this guy who's smart and soft on the inside, like, I'm really excited to hear him articulate that and what it means to him and what it meant to be a part of that franchise on stage tonight,” said UCR Student Keilani Riley.

His fans are rooting for him to win his first Oscar. 

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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