We all know that Mark Ruffalo is hotter than five volcanoes blowing up inside six volcanoes, but what turns me into a bag of mush is his commitment to being a decent, humble, caring human being. There's something about an open heart that just fills me with hope, and my bitter little brain can't handle how earnestly devoted Ruffalo is to making the world a better place. From his environmental work to the way he smokes that post-sex cigarette in The Kids Are All Right, here are some reasons he's the perfect choice for our inaugural Man Crush Monday.
He's an environmental crusader
Do you think the dudes on Tinder think of fracking as anything other than a mild form of a curse word? Ruffalo lives and breathes fracking. He wakes up and brushes his teeth with fracking, then has a cup of fracking before he goes to work bringing attention to how goddamn terrible fracking really is, and then hits the gym to kick the shit out of fracking. He's not campaigning against hydraulic fracturing for fun or exposure, either—he found out about it when he moved his family to upstate New York and it was happening in his region, and got incredibly involved in figuring it out how to put an end to it. I love that he talks eloquently and intelligently about it on talk shows, at rallies, and pretty much everywhere he goes.
Ruffalo even co-founded the group Water Defense under the belief that "access to clean water is a fundamental human right." He's passionate about the planet, and that somehow makes me more passionate about his face.
Look, not a lot of people can pull off a beard, even if they have people in their lives lying to them and telling them they can. Mark Ruffalo's beard game is so tight I wouldn't even kick him out of my house for leaving those impossible to clean trimmings in the sink. He can even pull off a mustache without looking like an escaped convict.
He likes poetry
This is the only thing I could say after he posted some poetry on his Tumblr this past October:
I mean, he also has a Tumblr account, which is too precious for words. Did you see this message he posted to a fan who wrote to him about how hard it is to be alive?
The difficult part of being young is having to look for validation from the world around you. That is a natural process and popular culture puts a great deal of importance on things like looks and materialism, but that is not what leads to peace and contentment. Peace and contentment come from an entirely different journey. Those things come from an inner journey and a relationship that primarily involves the self. It really is the relationship you have with your self that presents the key to the “kingdom”, so to speak. That journey is one of Love and understanding and compassion. Imagine how you would treat a child that was dealing with the things that you are struggling with. You would be very kind to that child and would have compassion for it and probably would be very forgiving of it’s shortcomings. That’s really how you have to treat yourself. No one is perfect. Every single human being has their flaws and shortcomings, trust me. Everyone can be better in one aspect or another. I am saying accept what you have to work on with kindness and compassion. Know what your shortcomings are and set off to work on them. Be gentle with your struggle, if it was easy it would not be worth a damn. But do not be brutal or disparaging toward yourself. Give yourself credit for the work you accomplish and be proud of your gifts, be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate them in your own way the way that feels right to you.
Robert Downey, Jr. would stick a piece of chewed gum on a fan's face before he ever wrote a letter like this.
His priorities are in the right place
He was really quiet about the brain tumor that left his face paralyzed for 10-months and the horrible death of his brother, but it was enough to make him leave acting for a while. He came back when he got the script for The Kids Are All Right (thankfully), but I sort of like that he loves his family more than he loves his job. Waiter! Plus one in the hot column, sir!
But in a goofy way. Like, watch him enter The Avengers panel at Comic Con and tell me you don't clutch your heart.
He chooses smart roles and has an interesting career
I was never more interested in The Hulk than when Ruffalo took over the role, and his smoldering intensity coupled with his gentle voice suddenly made it all click. He has a seamless ability to float between indie films and huge blockbusters, which very few actors can do successfully. Like, he was the goofy love interest in 13 Going On 30 and the weirdo scientist in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in the same year—can a Hemsworth do that?
Danielle Henderson is a lapsed academic, heavy metal karaoke machine, and culture editor at Fusion. She enjoys thinking about how race, gender, and sexuality shape our cultural narratives, but not in a boring way.