Everyone’s favorite scruffy heartthrob of an actor Mark Ruffalo was recognized for his career this week with his very own star on Hollywood Boulevard. The 56 year old, who just got his fourth nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Poor Things in January, joined friends, family, and colleagues at his Walk of Fame ceremony to celebrate.
The highlight of the event was surely the speech by co-star and friend Jennifer Garner — who filled in at the last minute for Laura Dern, who came down with COVID.
Garner, who shared the screen with Ruffalo in the 2004 classic 13 Going On 30, reminisced about the body swap rom-com that holds a place in millions of people’s hearts — and Ruffalo’s part in making a little bit of movie magic.
“How lucky are we to have been in a movie that kids are dressing up for as Halloween? It still means something to people,” Garner said. “I wonder if my colleagues Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth [Paltrow], Keira Knightley — I wonder if they would agree that Mark owes this rom-com success to the scruffy hair, the untucked cute button-down, both of which became the norm for cute guys everywhere for the next 20 years.”
She also razzed Ruffalo just a bit, especially for his well-documented lack of confidence as an actor.
“I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark’s anxiety as much as I did,” she continued. “I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films like he did out of ours after the first rehearsal of the ‘Thriller’ dance, where Mark went from kind of shocked that we actually had to do this, to antsy, to a deathly quiet, to ‘Bro, this is not for me.’”
But in the end, she only had love to share about her friend and coworker.
“To work with you, Mark, is to love you,” she concluded. “You allow yourself to be fully known — by your colleagues, by the audience, by the world. Your work on Poor Things deserves all of the awards. All of them. But the real success is in how thrilled and delighted your colleagues are to have the opportunity to lift you up and celebrate you. Every time your name is called, Hollywood takes a deep, collective breath, and says, ‘Okay, the good and right thing has happened.’”
And even though he apparently hated the infamous zombie dance, the pair took a moment to recreate the moment for the cameras.
This isn’t he first time that the pair have gotten nostalgic about their 13 Going On 30 roles. In 2021, Garner posted a picture to Instagram of a mini-reunion between the two.
After everyone had had their turns talking about Mark, including actor Tim McNeil and director David Fincher, Ruffalo addressed the crowd.
“Man, I don’t know who these people are talking about. I’ve been standing here in tears the whole time,” he said. “There’s nothing that’s difficult in life that isn’t in some way worth it, whether you make it or not. … So hang on. Because there’s no reason I should’ve been here. And I tried to quit five, six, different times.”
Mark was also joined at the ceremony by his family: wife Sunrise Coigney and kids Keen Ruffalo (22) and Bella Noche Ruffalo (18) — and it looked like everyone was thrilled with the star. Their youngest daughter, Odette (16) wasn’t there.
Ruffalo is the 2,772nd person to receive a Hollywood star. And it’s well deserved! His star is located right near the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, where Ruffalo attended school as an aspiring actor at the age of 18. It doesn’t get more full circle than that.
You can watch the whole speech — and the dance — below.