• 10 Things I Learned From The Incredible Hulk

    ih Bodybuilding changed my life but THE INCREDIBLE HULK changed everything. Here are 10 things I learned from playing Marvel's "gentle" giant. 1. HOW TO ACT The Incredible Hulk was my introduction to acting. It was an incredible opportunity for me, and I trained fiercely for it. I took acting lessons from renown coaches. I listened to all the advice Bill Bixby had to give. I listened to the fans. Most of all, I learned how to understand a character within a world and get in his head. It's easy to run around in short pants and break things. It's not so easy to be loved for it. [caption id="attachment_13858" align="aligncenter" width="300"]hulk780310 PIlot movie premiered November 4, 1977[/caption] 2. HOW TO WORK WITH OTHER ACTORS Bodybuilding is a personal sport. You may have a gym buddy. You may look to mentors and peers for advice, direction, and ideas. But the road traveled is between your body and your mind - no one else. Acting is a different beast - you affect others and others affect you. The end result is a team effort. I was lucky to have a great team. [caption id="attachment_13859" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Lou as The Incredible Hulk in 1982 episode of FALL GUY - "License To Kill" Lou as The Incredible Hulk in 1982 episode of THE FALL GUY - "License To Kill"[/caption] 3. HOW TO SUSTAIN THE MAKEUP FOR 12-14 HOURS A DAY I used the same mind games on myself to stay in makeup that I use to train. Full body makeup is uncomfortable, messy, and exhausting. A lot of my day was just sitting in a chair getting it on and off, but every job has its dull and difficult times. You do what you have to do for the end result. Green makeup was that for me. [caption id="attachment_10914" align="aligncenter" width="236"]Green for 12-14 hours a day It's not easy being green.[/caption] 4. HOW TO MAKE A SCARY-LOOKING CHARACTER VULNERABLE I was a scrawny kid - tall and awkward. I was teased because of the way I looked and the way I carried myself - shy and withdrawn. When I began bodybuilding, I noticed people started to react to my size - still, I was the same person inside. This was the Hulk - always both the doctor and the beast. Once I understood that, I understood how I needed to play the character. incredible_hulk_carrying-723858 5. EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD STORY - NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE FROM Before The Incredible Hulk, I was just a kid from Brooklyn who worked out in the basement. Moving to California was a really big deal for me. In 1977, when Pumping Iron came out and I got the role on the show, a whole world opened up to me. I got to travel the world promoting the show. It was amazing to see so many cultures, all different, embrace this flawed green beast. The story transcended language and culture. 1977_-_La_Masa_el_Hombre_Increible_-_The_Incredible_Hulk_(Kenneth_Johnson_-_Francia)       1977_-_La_Masa_el_Hombre_Increible_-_The_Incredible_Hulk_(Kenneth_Johnson_-_España)                 6. HOW TO DO STUNTS The producers of the show embraced the fact that I was willing to do my own stunts. I was a big guy. I could handle it. Right? Most of the time I could. However, sometimes things got a little scary. One of the most popular stunts I did myself was wrestling the bear in "Death in the Family." But the scariest one I did myself was jumping from a second story building onto a canvas. I couldn't seen where I was going, and I had no control over my body. Stuntman Manny Perry did my most dangerous stunts. [caption id="attachment_13864" align="aligncenter" width="243"]Me, Bill's stuntman Frank Orsatti, my stuntman Manny Perry Me, Bill's stuntman Frank Orsatti, my stuntman Manny Perry[/caption] 7. BILL BIXBY IS AN AMAZING MAN Bill taught me a lot while we filmed the show - both as a human being and as an actor. When I joined the cast, he had three pieces of advice for me:
    • Mind the lighting
    • Read every script and every character before filming starts. Understand how you fit into the story and why your character is behaving the way he does.
    • Never let the audience see your (non-green) skin. Always keep them engaged in the story and your character. (Man, sometimes the green didn't come off even if I wanted it too!)
    [caption id="attachment_13866" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Hulk1 The incomparable Bill[/caption] 8. HOW TO DEAL WITH FAME Having fans is a crazy thing that you just aren't prepared for. Sometimes it's still weird to me. I remember I was shocked when I first started the show and a fan sent me a letter asking if I would run away with her and spend our lives together, alone, in Tahiti. Sounds harmless enough, but at the time it was weird. I'm still married to the mother of my children. I still live in the same house I bought when I got married. I still buy a lot of my own groceries. Staying in touch with who you were before things changed is important. [caption id="attachment_13867" align="aligncenter" width="300"]hulk-love-by-lola-lollipop Hulk Love[/caption] 9. HOW TO SUSTAIN MY SIZE WHILE FILMING Contractually, I was not required to stay a certain size or bulk, but I had my own goals. I aimed at staying around 280 lbs. It was hard to find time to workout around 12-14 hour work days but not impossible. I tried to reduce carbs and get at least 4 workouts a week in to maintain my size and muscle. [caption id="attachment_13868" align="aligncenter" width="270"]280 Lbs of Green Muscle 280 Lbs of Green Muscle[/caption] 10. HOW INCREDIBLE IT FEELS TO GROW UP AND PLAY YOUR CHILDHOOD HERO The day I learned that I was cast as the Hulk was a day of mixed feelings. I was so excited at first. I knew my life would never be the same. But, I had already committed to participate in 1977's Mr. Olympia competition. I knew I had to break the news to Joe Weider, and I didn't like letting him down. Luckily, he was great about it. The rest is history. greeneye
  • Comments on this post (0 comments)

  • Leave a comment

Success! Feel free to continue shopping or head to your cart .