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An Interview with Lou Ferrigno, the Original Hulk Actor

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By Paul Scott

FPH caught up with strongman and actor Lou Ferrigno at the 2014 Comicpalooza to ask him a few questions about Houston, Tex-Mex, and of course, the next Hulk sequel.

I know you’ve been to Dallas and Austin for comic conventions before, is this your first time to Houston? What is your impression of Comicpalooza versus other comic cons you’ve been to?

I’ve never done a comic book convention in Houston before. I went to the convention at 8 a.m. There were a lot of people outside the convention center. I saw some people dressed up like Mario Brothers and Power Rangers, I think it’s going to be a hell of of a show. The free admission for military on Memorial Day is a great idea. The energy here is great. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the weekend goes. I think this is going to be one of the best conventions I’ve done.

Houston has some of the best food. Have you had real Tex-Mex cuisine before?

No, not yet. I got here two days ago. There was engine trouble on the plane, so we were stuck on the runway all day. Tonight I will explore Houston. People are great in the south-very friendly. They are very supportive of the Hulk.

Do you remember the first time you saw The Incredible Hulk comic book?

I was very young, probably 11 or 12. Before I knew about the Hulk, I always wanted to be Stan Lee. I was looking at the Hulk character. He was green, but what interested me was his power and the way he looked.

How do you relate or identify with the incredible Hulk?

It’s about power. Every one of us has a little Hulk inside. I was introverted as a child, picked on and beat up. I was frustrated because I was weak and couldn’t fight back. I thought if I were powerful like the Hulk I could defend myself. The Hulk is not just a monster, he’s sensitive and I identified with that.

How did you come into the role as the incredible Hulk?

It was 1977. They were filming the incredible Hulk pilot. Richard Kiel was supposed to play the Hulk, but the director came on the set one day and said it’s not the Hulk. Richard Kiel was tall, but he wasn’t muscular enough. The Hulk was supposed to be muscular. They did a nationwide casting call and found me. I did a screen test to show emotion and the rest is history.

What kind of research did you do to be the Hulk in voice and film?

It came naturally. I never did much research because I was a fan of the Hulk. He had a hard time communicating, and I identified with that. The director thought that I was a natural.

How do you feel about continuing to be involved in the role of the Hulk for The Avengers and Avengers 2?

I know that CGI is expected in today’s movies, but the CGI Hulk can’t sign autographs. I feel great about voicing the Hulk.

Can you tell us about your experience playing Hulk in The Avengers?

Everyone loved Hulk in the first avengers movie. He was very popular. That’s why they’re planning on having another Hulk movie. The fans love that I’m involved in the Hulk again. It has helped the Hulk be more successful than ever.

When you’re expressing the Hulk’s rage, where do you get your motivation?

That comes from inside me. I used different tools to show that rage. I’ve had a lot of anger from issues in my life, and I’m able to transfer that anger to the character.

There has been some rumor about an incredible Hulk sequel, following The Avengers sequel. Can you share any details on that?

I haven’t gotten the script yet, but it is on the way. The Hulk will show more power. I think it will bring more attention to the Incredible Hulk franchise.

Are there any other upcoming projects that you would like to tell us about?

I just finished filming the Scorpion King 4, which is coming out November 2014. I’m also very excited about my role in Moms’ Night Out, a Warner Brothers comedy that’s releasing this summer.

Is there anything you’d like to say to motivate your fans?

I’m looking forward to meeting them. I didn’t have the chances they have to attend comic conventions like they have now. I’m happy to be able to give back.

 

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