When Tim Roth began shooting The Incredible Hulk in the summer of 2007, Iron Man was still almost a year away from releasing and launching what would swiftly become the biggest franchise on the planet. Naturally, the actor had no idea how much things would snowball in the aftermath, so he was understandably out of the loop when making his return in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
While his Abomination did make a cameo appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it was as a CGI creation only, even if Roth did provide the vocals. In an interview with Forbes, the Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction alum reflected on how much the MCU had changed in virtually every respect when he returned to work with Marvel Studios.
“It’s as real as that gets now. When we were doing it initially, it was pretty unusual. It was pre-Iron Man, and those Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau changed it all. For me, what we were doing felt like a big-budget indie. It had a bit of that going on. Trying to bring that kind of world to life was good and crazy. Again, it was one of those I did for my kids because I thought they would get a kick out of it at school as they were much younger. Coming back, I didn’t know what to expect.
Once I started shooting on it, I didn’t know how to go about my business, and it was a bit disconcerting. Tatiana Maslany is incredible, and She-Hulk is a comedy, and she’s bloody good at comedy but, to be fair, she’s pretty, pretty good at everything. When Mark Ruffalo showed up to do his stuff that I was involved in and saw the two of them interacting, it was a penny drop moment for me, and I went, ‘Oh, that’s what we’re doing. Oh, okay,’ and then I knew what to do. Basically, on the first segment I was involved in, I got some serious direction from them about we go about our business there, and then it was all playtime. It was a lot of fun.”
Of course, having co-starred opposite Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner, Roth couldn’t resist cracking a joke the first time he came face-to-face with Mark Ruffalo, who’s been playing the role for over a decade at this stage.
“Yeah, I was like, ‘You’ve changed!’. It’s kind of fun. We used to hang around and muck about between takes, and we had a nice time. I very much respect Mark as an actor, so even under those bizarre and wonderful circumstances, that one was a treasure.”
The Incredible Hulk was completely ignored by the MCU at large for almost a decade, but She-Hulk: Attorney at Law brings the franchise’s second installment back to the fore, mirroring Roth’s own full circle experience.