At a recent "Hulk" press junket, Nick Nolte sat down to talk to the members of the media in a roundtable format interview. WARNING - SPOILERS!!!
At a recent "Hulk" press junket, Nick Nolte sat down to talk to the members of the media in a roundtable format interview. In the upcoming movie, Nolte plays David Banner, a multi-layered character who father to Bruce Banner, inadvertent engineer of the big green star of the film and ultimately one of the villains of the piece. Nolte followed his stint on the "Hulk" with a bout of substance abuse that landed him in rehab last year.

At the roundtables, members of the press took turns asking Nolte questions about his work. Comics2Film/CBR News is please to present this edited transcript of that interview.


[Nolte enters wearing lime green designer clothes. An assistant hands him four pages of hand-written notes.]

Q: What are the notes for?

Nick Nolte (NN): I just have notes because there was a lot of preparation that had to be done for this. Ang Lee came out to the house and he said, 'I don't know how to make a comic book. I know how to make a Greek tragedy.'

And I said to him, 'Was 'Eat Drink Man Woman' partially based on 'Lear?'

And he said, 'Yes.'

So I took him upstairs into my lab and I pricked his finger, got blood, put it on a slide, slid it under the dark film microscope and a camera projected it onto the high-def television screen.

His red cells were floating through. A white cell would come in and they looked like diamond jewels. Massive diamond jewels and they'd change shape as they wrap around bacteria. And the blood is vibrant. It's alive. The cells shimmer and shake. It's better than watching the universe through a big telescope because its moving all the time.

And you see bacteria and you see fibrinogen in the background, which is the clotting factor in the blood. Smokers have it a whole lot. And Ang looked at it for a little while and he said, 'can you do that in color?'

So right away I realized he was way past the cellular level. His wife was an agrobiologist and they were into neural transmission of genetic information. That's why you see them flying into the fields. He wanted to get to the source of the change.

It's a Greek tragedy really based on Father/Son. It's not Oedipal.

Only 250 years ago, monarchs, kings killed their sons. Usually the first born was a pretender to the crown. They kept the second born, killed the third and forth. Many times the son killed the father.

So there know in modern times, the relationship between the father and the son, at some point the father has to let the son win. Now he usually does, because we get feeble, but as we all well know, we cannot get into each other's consciousness.

We uniquely feel ourselves. It makes us a little lonely. Only through communications can we feel a kind of connectedness, but ultimately we singularly experience the world in our own way.

Q: But you have a son, don't you?

NN: Yeah.

Q: How old is your son now?

NN: He's sixteen, but I gave up that ghost a long time ago. He calls me Nick. I call him Brawley. He's in college. He started going to college when he was a sophomore.

Q: Did you always get along?

NN: Yeah. Yeah, always. We've always been closely connected. You know there comes a time, in his teenage years, where he really fights. He really fights for his individuality. That's a crisis time.

That's a real important time for both girls and boys. I think the most distorted American myth is on the part of the way girls are raised. 'Sugar and spice and everything nice. that limits the emotional range that females definitely have.

Q: And don't forget that they're supposed to be sexy before they're ten.

NN: Yeah. That's right. That's right. But we're getting way off the subject.

Q: So you were talking about fathers and sons and Greek tragedy.

NN: Yeah, the Greek tragedy.

So the reason it becomes this is, instead of a monarchy, our blood by blood connection, it's genetic alteration that binds [David and Bruce Banner] forever. In the genes that I altered, in myself, he inherited in the full genome. These altered genes...well, obviously the genome read these genes and unique and different and a whole series of alterations were made so that he wouldn't explode. That's the problem.

As a research scientist, and I know many of them...there's no money in it. They don't do it for the money. they just do it because they have a passion and they usually have to farm out to a big corporation to make...the biggest chicken breast in the world, which has been done. It's an American company that has captured the chicken breast market. It used to be the Chinese. They made a chicken breast that was so big that the chicken couldn't stand up. It's terrible.

I'm not necessarily against genetic alteration. Because I'll tell you the knowledge is coming. It's in our hands and it won't be that long when we have to make a very big decision. I see it as unstoppable.

Hawking says in 'Universe in a Nutshell,' we need a quarter of an inch larger a space for the brain. We need a quarter of an inch layer to the brain to catch up to the information that's out there. He thinks that's going to be within fifty years.

Q: What do you think about Ang saying, 'We all have a Hulk inside of us?'

NN: See I tied the changes [in the characters' genetic makeup] so that they'd fire off to the limbic system. The limbic system is the oldest part of our brain. It's also called the reptilian brain. It has two responses. It's an on/off switch: fight or flight.

It's about survival. Anger is an emption of survival. Fear is an emotion of survival. But we've evolved past that. We have a huge cortex now.

The limbic brain, the reptilian brain is comfortable with maybe fifty faces that it recognizes. Past that it starts to fire off, 'Warning! Danger, danger, danger, danger, danger!'

You drive down the 101 you're gonna see a hundred thousand new faces. your limbic system is going crazy. Boom, boom, boom, boom boom. We rationalize it off. 'These are all people in the community. These are all....'

But what we call that is anxiety. It's a constant state of anxiety because our brain hasn't caught up with the changes.

Q: What do you do when you're really pissed off then?

NN: You get angry. If you don't express your anger, feel your anger, you cease to exist. You won't survive. You won't make it. All this anger thing is, you shouldn't displace your anger and be mad at that plastic cup. Your anger is meant for survival. In nature...

Oh you guys are going to go off on this:

Nature does not discriminate about any way it can get the passing of the genes for survival of a species, and rape is one of the natural wa
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