Mark Ruffalo Originally Turned Down "Kids" Film Role — to Spend Time With his Real Kids


Sunrise Coigney, Mark Ruffalo

The Kids Are All Right isn’t only the name of Mark Ruffalo’s new movie, it’s also an apt description of Mark Ruffalo’s homelife. As he revealed to NPR, he and wife Sunrise Coigney live with their three children in tiny Callicoon, NY (population 215), and he loves it. “You always get to look your kid in the eye,” he says. “My wife, in the eye. And as a family, it’s been the healthiest thing I think we’ve ever done. We’re always together. It’s not like that in the city. Here, it’s basically us and our friends, and there’s nowhere to run.” 

He loves that together time so much that, in fact, he originally turned down his role in The Kids Are Allright. His wife changed his mind.

Sunrise Coigney had spoken with friend Julianne Moore about the movie, and even took a look at the script. Coigney loved it and, according to USA Today, was shocked to discover that her husband had been offered — and turned down! — the lead role. Apparently Ruffalo had told Moore that he couldn’t do the movie because he didn’t want to spend time away from his family. Coigney convinced him that this was a project worth the brief separation. “If it weren’t for my deep and abiding friendship with his wife, Sunrise, [Ruffalo being in the film] would never have happened.”

It’s a perfect part for him. Both funny and touching, it follows a lesbian couple as their two kids track down their sperm-donor dad — and then attempt to bring him into the family fold. Ruffalo has spent considerable time in his real life looking at what makes a family, and how best to make that family work. This is the kind of real-life experience that can only make his film portrayal of a questioning dad that much richer.

The Kids Are All Right movie opens in theaters tomorrow. Will you see it?


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