Mark Ruffalo Worried He Was 'Too Old' for His “Poor Things” Sex Scenes: 'Does Anyone Want to See That?'

Posing for photos in a 'Perfect Magazine' cover story, the actor discussed his intimate scenes with ‘Poor Things’ costar Emma Stone

<p>Atsushi Nishijima/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures</p> Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in "Poor Things"

Atsushi Nishijima/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in "Poor Things"

Mark Ruffalo is baring it all — including his hesitancy at baring it all.

For Perfect Magazine, the Oscar-nominated actor posed for photos and discussed his work in Poor Things, in which he plays the dandified Duncan Wedderburn.

“I didn’t know if I could pull this off,” Ruffalo, 56, told the magazine, as revealed in the first of Perfect Magazine’s two collaboration Instagram posts published Monday. “I’ve never done anything like [Poor Things] before.”

In the cover story image by photographer Willy Vanderperre, the Marvel star appears nude, shot from the waist up while lying on the ground.

Ruffalo, 55 at the time of the interview, also mentioned his age. “So, like, the sex scenes,” he said of acting opposite Emma Stone in the film. “Am I too old to be doing that kind of stuff? Does anyone want to see that?”

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Mark Ruffalo on Jan. 4


Mark Ruffalo on Jan. 4

Poor Things, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Tony McNamara as their follow-up to The Favourite, stars Stone as Bella Baxter, a grown woman resurrected with the brain of her unborn child. As she matures unnaturally quickly, her discovery of womanhood includes plenty of uninhibited sex — including with Wedderburn, a lecherous lawyer. 

The movie, based on the 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, has become an awards season contender. Stone, 35, earned a lead actress Critics Choice Award on Sunday after her win at the Jan. 7 Golden Globe Awards, where the film also took the statuette for musical or comedy motion picture. 

Related: Emma Stone Reveals Where She’s Keeping Her 2024 Golden Globes Statues (Exclusive)

Also in Ruffalo’s “wide-ranging interview for Perfect,” per another Instagram post — which includes an apparent shot of his bare torso — the actor discussed politics, social media and the depiction of sex on screen.

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

Ruffalo himself approved of his risqué display, commenting on the latter Instagram gallery soon after it was posted, “Thanks Willy and [interviewer Amber Later] and all the folks over there. You are perfection.”

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Related: Mark Ruffalo Says Kiss with Ramy Youssef at Golden Globes 2024 Was 'Hot' (Exclusive)

Poor Things also stars Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael and Christopher Abbott. It earned an R rating for "strong and pervasive sexual content, graphic nudity, disturbing material, gore and language."

"It was very important for me to not make a film that was going to be prude, because it would be completely betraying the main character. So we had to be confident," Lanthimos said in September at the movie's Venice Film Festival premiere.

<p>Cindy Ord/WireImage</p> Mark Ruffalo and Emma Stone in 2023

Cindy Ord/WireImage

Mark Ruffalo and Emma Stone in 2023

"The character [had to] have no shame, and Emma had to have no shame about her body, nudity and engaging in those scenes, and she understood that right away,” he said of Stone, who is also among the film’s producers.

Ruffalo has also had plenty of praise for his costar, calling Stone “a once in a generation talent” at Poor Things’ New York City premiere in December.

“She's a great talent,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “I mean, this is probably one of the most daring female performances in decades, in a sense.”

Poor Things is in theaters now.

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