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Why Ruffalo feared Russell Crowe

September 10, 2003 16:30 IST

Meg Ryan and Mark RuffaloJane Campion wanted to hire a gigolo to train me in the love scenes," grins upcoming star Mark Ruffalo. "But she gave up because it was too expensive."

The actor, however, is serious when he mentions the trouble Campion took to make him and other actors in the erotic psychological thriller, In The Cut, give of their best.
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Every director talks about getting the best out of their actors, Ruffalo said. But the New Zealand-based Campion knows how to do it, he continued. Campion, he said, makes her actors her creative partners.

Ruffalo plays a detective who has a passionate affair with a professor (Meg Ryan) while investigating a woman's murder in the neighbourhood. "She explained every detail to us. She read poetry. She brought in so much of outside references," he said.

Yet Ruffalo was tense.

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"I was really scared," he said at a press conference during the Toronto International Film Festival where the film premiered. "She [Ryan] was with Russell Crowe. All I could think of is, 'what am I going to be like compared to Russell Crowe?' "

Ruffalo was drawn to the script because of Campion's reputation for making quirky films. He also loved Susana Moore's novel. "It is an impressive character study buried under the genre [of a mystery thriller]," he said.

Photograph: Getty Images

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