Edward Norton Talks About Turning Down Hulk Role in The Avengers
With all the controversy surrounding Edward Norton’s stint as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in Marvel’s pre-Avengers take on the green giant franchise – including ones that have painted both Norton and the studio in a bad light, it’s normal to expect that the actor might harbor some bitterness now that the franchise has really taken off. However, in a recent interview with NPR, Norton expressed his thoughts on the whole debacle:
“My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to,” said Norton to NPR, when discussing his initial turn as Bruce Banner.
“I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that.”
“There were just a lot of things… I wanted more diversity. I sort of chose to continue on my path of having a diversity of experiences. Maybe on some unconscious level, I didn’t want to have an association with one thing in any way degrade my effectiveness as an actor, in characters.”
“I think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other peoples’ eyes. And if I had continued on with it, I wouldn’t have made Moonrise Kingdom, or Grand Budapest, or Birdman, because those all overlapped with [Avengers].”
“And those were more the priority for me, but I continue to be a fan and I’m really, really happy I got to do it once.”
It’s a fair enough statement. Norton didn’t express any bitterness or resentment over how the whole thing went down, but didn’t downplay the significance of his decision. Contrary to previous reports about his conflicts with the creatives, it seems like there’s no longer any ill will against the studio. It may be an example of time eventually letting cooler heads prevail, and probably the fact that Norton is in a comfortable place career-wise and financially that a lucrative Marvel contract isn’t really much of a loss.