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Mark Ruffalo almost left this movie because he hates dancing

Mark Ruffalo may be best-known for playing a certain giant green superhero, but in the 2000s, he starred in many rom-coms. The best one required a dance scene.

Angry Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo has played many different kinds of characters over the course of his long career – including journalists, criminals, cops, and obviously – a genius scientist who turns a certain shade of green when he gets angry in the MCU. But one thing he is not known for is his dancing. And when one of his most famous roles required a dance sequence, Ruffalo got so angry, he almost quit the movie. And you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

13 Going on 30 is one of the best 2000s movies, which combines coming-of-age with the rom-com, and is even a variation on a time travel movie. The movie is about Jenna Rink, who is struggling with the usual things that 12-year-old girls do – and she yearns to be one of the popular (mean) girls. After being humiliated at her 13th birthday party, Jenna wishes to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving” and her wish comes true – transporting her ahead 17 years to 2004 – where she’s played by Jennifer Garner.

Mark Ruffalo plays the adult version of Jenna’s neighbour and best friend Matty, who has grown up and grown apart from her. A key scene where they almost rekindle their friendship is when Jenna leads the guests at a work party in a dance routine to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

In a 2021 interview with The Skimm, Garner revealed that Ruffalo was not too happy when he was first informed about the dancing. “We started to learn the dance. Our first rehearsal, I think it was Mark and Judy Greer and me. And Judy and I were both dancers growing up. Poor Mark didn’t know that. He came in, and he hated the rehearsal process so much, he almost dropped out of the movie.”

Ruffalo’s reluctance to join in with the dancing works well, as Matty is initially unsure too. Plus, Matty is not supposed to be a professional dancer in a musical, just someone who used to enjoy doing Thriller with his best friend Jenna as a kid. Garner’s dress in the Thriller scene has become iconic, as has the whole movie.

Check out our guide to the best romance movies.