Mark Ruffalo appeared on “Hot Ones” ahead of the release of “Poor Things” and got asked about the time he accidentally popped Channing Tatum‘s eardrum on the set of “Foxcatcher.” The 2014 sports drama, directed by Bennett Miller, starred the two actors as Olympic wrestlers Mark and David Schultz. Ruffalo played David, who was murdered in January 1996 by multimillionaire John du Pont (played by Steve Carell in the film) after John recruited the brothers to help train them.
“[Channing] did ask me to slap the shit out of him, and it was easy to do because he’d beaten the shit out of me so many times,” Ruffalo wisecracked when the topic of Tatum’s popped eardrum was brought up.
“It was like four months of learning how to wrestle together,” Ruffalo added. “He like has 30 pounds on me, so when it came time to smack the shit out of him, I was like, ‘Came from Alabama.’”
Tatum first told the popped eardrum story at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where “Foxcatcher” world premiered and where Miller won the festival’s best director prize. Tatum said at the time: “All of a sudden it’s just making a screeching noise. I can’t hear anything. Eardrums heal, so I’m fine.”
“I’m pretty sure I broke my hand in the movie in the training,” Tatum also said at Cannes. “You’re just throwing bodies around and you get caught in different angles.”
“Foxcatcher” went on to earn five Academy Award nominations, including Ruffalo for best supporting actor. He’s once again earning supporting actor Oscar buzz for his role opposite Emma Stone in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things,” which also featured a lot of smacking on set. Willem Dafoe had Stone slap him across the face more than 20 times during the filming of one scene.
Elsewhere during the “Hot Ones” interview, Ruffalo was asked what it was like having Joaquin Phoenix as his roommate while the two were filming their 2007 drama “Reservation Road.”
“He’s a great cook, and he turned me on to vegan cuisine and so he would cook all the time and he was a great roommate,” Ruffalo said. “He was a roommate who would be out and you’d get a text [saying] ‘you need anything? Need me to pick up anything?’ The place is clean, all the dishes were washed, he’s got a great sense of humor.”
“Poor Things” opens in theaters Dec. 8 from Searchlight Pictures. Watch Ruffalo’s full appearance on “Hot Ones” in the video below.
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