You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Ang Lee

Empire Online talked to Eric Bana about director Ang Lee taking him to an Ultimate Fighting bout. "Interesting, then, but not something I'm in any real hurry to see again."
The Hulk: fifteen feet of preternatural strength, a juggernaut of a creature made up of rippling muscle and sinew driven by raw, primal fury. So how does a mild-mannered Australian native get into the frame of mind where he can transform into such a creature on screen? According to Eric Bana, the answer is quite simple: your director makes you witness the real thing.

Clearly green-skinned, gamma-irradiated monstrosities aren't seen walking down your average street (even in Hollywood) but Bana was witness to the next best thing. Having been told by Ang Lee that a night of entertainment had been organised, Bana and a couple of the ILM staff were promptly whisked away to an Indian reservation to ringside seats at an Ultimate Fighting bout. For those unfamiliar with the sport, Ultimate Fighting a no-holds-barred type of combat that sees fighters from a variety of disciplines doing their best to reduce their opponent to a red smudge on the canvas with little intervention from the referee.

"I really didn't want to do it," Bana recalls to Empire. "It was just short of finding an illegal bare-knuckle fight somewhere. We had front-row seats , which was kinda grotesque but interesting. I was feet away from watching a guy semi-conscious with his head on the canvas, while a guy with bare knuckles was pounding into the side of his head."

A touch excessive? Perhaps, but godlike genius Lee seems to have thought it necessary and Bana isn't questioning him. "I think it was about pure, unadulterated rage. About being exposed to something very, very primal. There were some specifics that I wouldn't like to mention that Ang wanted me to pay attention to. Interesting, then, but not something I'm in any real hurry to see again."

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