SEATTLE – Until he played an investigative reporter in the movie Spotlight, actor Mark Ruffalo said he didn’t realize how journalists had to remain dispassionate and not let their own feelings get in the way of the facts of a story.
“You couldn’t really jump to conclusions without every single step of information actually leading you to that conclusion,” said Ruffalo in a spring interview with Youth Journalism International at Comic Con in Seattle.
“It takes a lot of discipline to really tell a story honestly, which means having to get every facet of that story – even people like you think might be perpetrating bad things – you still have to treat them with fairness to really get to the truth,” said Ruffalo, who portrayed a Boston Globe reporter in Spotlight. The 2015 film is based on the newspaper’s investigation that revealed the child molestation scandal in Boston’s Catholic churches.
Young journalists, he said, should “find the subjects that are really compelling to them, and then go after” the ones they think are most interesting and important.
“Always use your curiosity to lead you.”
Ruffalo also starred as The Hulk/Bruce Banner in Marvel Studios’ The Avengers trilogy and in other roles. He describes himself as a “climate justice and renewable energy advocate.”
Asked what he would say to the world’s teenagers, Ruffalo said, “I would say to keep the faith … these are tumultuous times but that humanity has a way of finding its way through the darkness and that you have to fix your relationships that are most important – not just to one another, but also your relationship to the planet to all the living people and creatures. Yeah, that’s what I would say. It’s gonna be okay.”
McKenzie Andersen is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.