Poor Things’ NSFW Scenes Had Mark Ruffalo Questioning Everything

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Believe it or not, “Poor Things” isn’t entirely new territory for Mark Ruffalo. Audiences of a certain age might only know the actor through his Marvel role as Bruce Banner/the Hulk or his tendency to sink his teeth into surly investigators and/or reporters (as seen in “Dark Waters,” “Spotlight,” “Shutter Island,” “Zodiac,” and many more). But may we never forget his blistering performance in Jane Campion’s polarizing 2003 erotic thriller “In the Cut,” undercut somewhat by the fact that the film mostly sparked headlines and controversy over rom-com sweetheart Meg Ryan’s shocking amount of nudity. Because how dare actors, you know, act and try different things.

All that to say, pop culture hardly seems to have changed much in the intervening 20 years, and Ruffalo has taken notice. There has been a pervasive trend throughout the last several years, particularly on social media, in which certain circles have all but rejected the notion that sex scenes are “necessary” in film and television — a troublesome take that we here at /Film have rightfully pushed back on. In that light, the depiction of sexual pleasure and exploration in “Poor Things” might as well feel downright taboo. For Ruffalo, that’s a symptom of an even broader issue, as he explains later on to Perfect Magazine:

“I feel like we’re in this prudish time for films. Sexuality is so deeply connected to the psychology of a character. And it should be explored in that sense too.”

Preaching to the choir, Mark! No one movie can stand as a referendum on any cultural concern, of course, but the commercial success of “Poor Things” – sex, nudity, and all — does feel like an encouraging sign. “Poor Things” is currently playing in theaters.

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