Mark Ruffalo might have been part of the ensemble cast of this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, but the actor has his eye on bigger wins.
“I fought side-by-side with Riverkeeper in the fight against hydro-fracking here in New York State, which we won,” Ruffalo said on Wednesday night at Pier Sixty, where the annual Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball was being held. “My friend Leonardo’s being honored tonight, so I’m here to support him,” he added, talking about DiCaprio. The event also honored Ralph Lauren and Robert De Niro.
Ruffalo has been a loud supporter of environmental causes, and founded a nonprofit, Water Defense, dedicated to advocating for clean water.
“We’ll see in the next year, water will become a defining issue of quality of our environmental health, and right now we’re doing a really bad job of taking care of it,” he said. “Unfortunately, our water has become a dumping group. It’s the perfect dumping ground, it’s impossible to trace back who polluted it.”
Ruffalo and Water Defense have also been vocal on the water crisis in Flint, Mich., but their stance was recently countered by a research team at Virginia Tech. One of the principal investigators on the team published a blog post earlier this week, titled “A-List Actor, but F-List Scientist: Mark Ruffalo Brings Fear and Misinformation to Flint.”
To be sure, Ruffalo’s name is helping draw attention to the issue. But despite his dedication to conservation, Ruffalo is keeping his day job, at least for now.
“Acting has sort of become my day job now, sadly. It’s what I do to support all this other stuff,” he explained. “Why are we living in a modern society where we don’t trust the water that’s coming out of our tap? We shouldn’t be in that position.”