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From E! Online:

Mark Ruffalo's life is resuming some semblance of normalcy just over a month after his brother was declared dead of a gunshot wound.

E! News has learned that the still-mourning actor, who dropped out of a film in the immediate aftermath of his brother's death, is gearing up to return to work, directing and starring in the tentatively titled Sympathy for Delicious.

"We're starting shooting in a week," says a production insider.

The film, originally expected to begin shooting last month, was indefinitely postponed after word of Scott Ruffalo's death broke.

Mark Ruffalo will star as a priest in the film, which follows a paralyzed DJ who seeks out the world of faith healing. Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis and Ruffalo's You Can Count on Me partner, Laura Linney, also star.

The cast convened for a get-together last Friday, with Bloom, Lewis, Ruffalo and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, joining forces for a low-key night out at Teddy's at the Roosevelt Hotel.

A source told E! News the foursome "sat in the back, corner table behind the DJ booth, just drinking soda water and having a good night."

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You beat me, I just came to post this - thanks, Kira! It sounds very promising. Laura Linney! I love her.

Small blurb from ComingSoon.net

Mark Ruffalo will make his feature directing debut on Sympathy for Delicious, says Variety.

Ruffalo will star with James Franco and Chris Thornton. Production begins this fall in Los Angeles, and the film is fully financed by new company Corner Store Entertainment.

Thornton, who wrote the script, plays "Delicious" Dean O'Dwyer, a paralyzed DJ struggling to survive in his wheelchair on the streets of L.A. He turns to faith-healing and mysteriously acquires the ability to cure the sick -- although not himself. Ruffalo plays a Jesuit priest who tries to help him come to terms with the limits of his gift, and Franco a rock singer in a band that exploits the suddenly famous healer.

The movie will be produced by Andrea Sperling, Matthew Weaver, Scott Prissand, Ruffalo and Thornton, with Robert Stein and Joanne Jacobson executive producers.

Maybe James Franco isn't in it anymore and Orlando has his part??

Sorry, edited to add two more stories:

Mark Ruffalo to Direct Sympathy for Delicious

Mark Ruffalo is getting in the director's chair for his new project: Sympathy for Delicious. It's a movie starring Mr. Ruffalo's friend Chris Long as an L.A. DJ "Delicious" Dean O'Dwyer who is paralyzed in a wheelchair (Mr. Long is actually paralyzed in a wheelchair in real life).

Delicious develops some kind of divine gift to cure the sick, according to Variety. Mr. Ruffalo will be making his directorial debut and starring in the movie as a priest who helps out Delicious; James Franco (yum) will play a trickster singer in a rock band who tries to "exploit" Delicious's gift.

James Franco gave an interview to MTV about the movie last week:

The project, a “drama that’s got comedy in it,” as Franco described it, has been kicking around since at least 2004, when Ruffalo mentioned the film while doing press for “13 Going on 30.”

Based on Franco’s comments, it would seem the film might finally be a go. But just who the heck is Delicious, anyway, and why should we have sympathy for him?

“DJ Delicious. He’s a DJ,” Franco clarified. “This DJ character was written for [Mark's] friend who’s actually paraplegic in real life, Chris Thornton, and he’s this DJ that has kind of a gift. He joins up with my band and then starts getting more attention than me, the lead singer. So I start getting upset about that.”

and Daily Variety:

Mark Ruffalo will make his feature directing debut on "Sympathy for Delicious."

Ruffalo will star with James Franco and Chris Thornton. Production begins this fall in Los Angeles, and the pic is fully financed by new company Corner Store Entertainment.

Thornton, who wrote the script, plays "Delicious" Dean O'Dwyer, a paralyzed DJ struggling to survive in his wheelchair on the streets of L.A. He turns to faith-healing and mysteriously acquires the ability to cure the sick -- although not himself. Ruffalo plays a Jesuit priest who tries to help him come to terms with the limits of his gift, and Franco a rock singer in a band that exploits the suddenly famous healer.

Pic will be produced by Andrea Sperling, Matthew Weaver, Scott Prisand, Ruffalo and Thornton, with Robert Stein and Joanne Jacobson exec producers.

The film is being financed by Corner Store Entertainment, a venture of Weaver and Prisand, who've quietly financed two other pics over the past several months and raised the coin to bankroll a slate of moderately priced films over the next three years.

Weaver, son of former Paramount marketing exec Gordon Weaver, has credits that include "The Heartbreak Kid" remake, the doc "Surfwise" and "Pretty Persuasion." Prisand has produced several stage musicals, including "Legally Blonde." Longtime friends, they teamed after each became frustrated developing projects within the studio system. The partners first made a three-pic deal with Nic and Tristan Puehse, the 10-year-old twin skateboarding stars. Production on "Nic & Tristan: The Movie" is complete, and Corner Store has the right to make two more movies with the kids. Goal is to create a family franchise, mostly likely on the smallscreen.

Corner Store Entertainment first completed theatrical feature is "Barry Munday," which it co-financed with Stick 'N Stone Prods. partners Mickey Barold and Stone Douglass. Based on the novel "Life Is a Strange Place," the romantic comedy was written and directed by Chris D'Arienzo, with Patrick Wilson starring as a thirtysomething womanizer. After being attacked by the father of one of his conquests, he loses his testicles and awakens to discover he's been hit with a paternity suit by another woman he can't even remember. Pic has completed production and will seek distribution through the festival route.

Corner Stores has opened an office in New York that will be run by Jennifer Maloney, producer of "Spring Awakening."

"Corner Store has the ability to move quickly and provide much-needed equity financing that can greenlight independent movies," Prisand said. "Our endgame is to sell each movie and create a library for our investors of at least seven to 10 properties."

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Mark Ruffalo's Directing Debut Back On

Bloom & Linney in Sympathy For Delicious

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


When Mark Ruffalo calls 'action!' on his directorial debut, Sympathy For Delicious, next week in Los Angeles, it will mean much more than just another milestone in his increasingly impressive career.

After all, Ruffalo's brother, Scott, died in early December following a shooting incident.

Understandably, it pushed Ruffalo's professional life to the wayside, but now he's decided to return to work. And what better way than by getting Sympathy For Decisions <sic>, which had been due to shoot around December, going again?

Due to a scheduling conflict, though, the previously-cast James Franco won't be able to make the movie. Orlando Bloom has instead signed on to play the lead singer of a tough rock band. Laura Linney will play the manager of the band, but the lead role in the movie goes to Christopher Thornton, a wheelchair-bound theatre actor who also wrote the movie.

Thornton will play a disabled DJ who discovers that he can heal the sick (but not, as it turns out, himself). Rather than exploit his gift for the good of others, though, he decides to follow his dreams of a rock'n'roll lifestyle.

Ruffalo will also appear in the movie, as a priest.

The indie film doesn't have a distributor in the States yet; it'll be shopped around at the Berlin Film Festival. And we know that we're always wishing filmmakers well with their projects - we're nice like that - but we particularly mean it in this instance.

Chris Hewitt

Let's hope that it gets picked up by a big distributor, and we don't have to wait for the DVD to see it over here!

Oh, and Orlando singing! :cheer2:

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I just got a Google alert listing the address for filming, so I'd say it's started. But we don't know if he's started from Day 1 or not.

This is how desperate we are to see him on the screen. 'Does he start filming today, or Wednesday, or...?' :lol:

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A poster at IMDB is reporting that there is to be a shoot this Thursday:

I have no idea if this is accurate or not, but should be fun if it is! :)

On Thursday starting at 10am, they will be filming a live concert at The Palace Theater in Downtown LA! Apparently, if you show up, you can be in the audience and see Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis and the rest of the band in the film perform songs and scenes from the movie. ALSO, crowd members will be interviewed, as footage for the film, so you may even have a speaking role in the movie before the end of the day.
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A little excerpt from the blog Reserve Result, which covers the entertainment industry, with an emphasis on films, in blog format. I can't link as this entry includes paparazzi pics, but you should be able to find it on a search. There were a couple of interesting little bits about the film schedule and budget.

The excerpts:

The $3,000,000 Sympathy for Delicious is a film about a paralyzed DJ, struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles, then turns to faith healing and mysteriously develops the ability to cure the sick--although not himself. The film started filming on Tuesday and ends on the 25th of March.

Orlando Bloom is repped by Jimmy Darmody and Kevin Huvane @ Creative Artists Agency (CAA), attorney Patti Felker @ Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson, LLP, manager Aleen Keshishian @ Brillstein Entertainment Partners and publicist Robin Baum @ PMK/HBH Public Relations.

Compared to the Pirates and LOTR films, it's being made for spare change! :lol:

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The Daily Mail has a report on his performance Orlando Bloom the Rock God (!) :

Nail polish, wild hair and covered in tattoos, this is Orlando Bloom as you've never seen him before.

The clean-cut Hollywood pin-up well and truly threw off his pretty boy image for his new role in the drama Sympathy For Delicious.

The actor completely transformed his usually well-groomed appearance to play an aspiring rock star complete with fake tattoos, scruffy brown wig, heavy eye make-up and black nail polish.

Orlando Bloom

He filmed scenes for the movie at a theatre in downtown LA yesterday where he strutted around the stage shirtless - much to the delight of a screaming female audience.

The 32-year-old star of Pirates Of The Carribean stepped into the role after Milk actor James Franco pulled out at the 11th hour due to a scheduling conflict.

Minor spoiler:

In one scene Orlando's character is caught up in a on stage fight with his paralyzed bandmate 'Delicious' Dean O'Dwyer, played by theatre actor Christopher Thornton.

The movie, which also stars Juliette Lewis, follows Delicious as he turns to faith-healing and mysteriously gains the power to cure the sick.

However, his healing powers do not extend to himself.

The film is directed by Just Like Heaven actor Mark Ruffalo, who is returning to work for the first time his his brother Scott died in a shooting incident in December.

Ruffalo will also take an acting role in the film as a Jesuit priest who helps the DJ explore his gift and accept its limitations.




What a great Friday this is turning out to be! :shiny:

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  • 2 months later...

SFD is definitely being promoted by Kimmel at the market side of Cannes. Here's hte entry from the 2009 Cannes Product Listing:

Sympathy for Delicious (U.S.A.; drama)

Producers: Andrea Sperling, Scott Prisand,Matt Weaver; director: Mark Ruffalo;

cast: Christopher Thornton, Mark Ruffalo.

SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS is a wholly original story, filled with humor and pathos as well as a realistic, yet vivid, character study exploring the lasting effects of tragedy, the search for meaning, and the ultimate edemptive power of compassion. (postproduction; product reel/trailer; debuting)

:w00t: I hope WE get to see that trailer soon!

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  • 2 months later...

This article seems to be saying that SfD was licensed for some countries during Cannes:

2009 Cannes Market Results

Jinga Films licensed “Salvage” to MIG for Germany, Italia for the Middle East and has also sold Japan. “The Disappeared” went to Moonlight for Benelux, Savoy for Germany. “Summer Scars” went to Wise for Spain, Sahamongkol for Thailand. “Love me Still” went to Italia for the Middle East. “Gnaw” sold to Japan. “The Disappeared” and “Summer Scars” U.K. distributor is ICA’s New British Cinema. Kimmel’s “Trust” went to Mexico (Gussi), Benelux (A Film), Greece (Village Roadshow), Portugal (Lusomundo), Turkey (Aqua Pimena), IPA Asia Pacific for Thailand. “Sympathy For Delicious” went to Italy (CDI), Thailand (IPA), Indonesia (PT Amero). “The Greatest” went to U.K. (High Fliers), Italy (Mediaset), Russia (Soyuz) and previously (Berlin) to Senator Distribution for U.S., E1 Entertainment for Canada, Pinema for Turkey. “An Invisible Sign Of My Own” went to Italy (Mediafilm),Hong Kong (Edko).
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  • 1 month later...

The TIFF website has updated its press releases today. Based on the information I'm seeing, I don't think SfD is Toronto bound (or Main Street either for that matter). I'll keep checking throughout the day to be sure there aren't more updates coming, but based on this: The 2009 Festival Announces Films to Complete its Schedule I don't think it looks too good, unfortunately. The list of films coming to TIFF here does not list either title.

ETA: Orlando does not appear on the guest list either: Toronto Star Article, however, Colin Firth, Johnnie To and Juliette Lewis are all on, so like Jill mentioned, maybe we'll get some stuff from them through press interviews.

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  • 1 month later...

Laura Linney said what it was like to work with a first time director in this ScreenCave interview:

<snip>Laura, you've worked with seasoned vets like Eyre and Eastwood, but your two upcoming films feature virgin directors (Leland Orser and Mark Ruffalo). How do the experiences compare?

LL: I've worked with a lot of first time directors, a lot a lot of them. Talent and experience is not the same thing – a combination of the two is wonderful. And sometimes a first time director…I mean they're learning! So hopefully you're there to help them learn. Leland and Mark were fantastic. They're both very good actors so they've got a lot of experience themselves. I haven't seen the films but on set I loved it – I had a great time. And they're dear friends, and I wanted to help in any way I possibly could. I find the directors with the most experience - Clint, Richard, Harry – they roll with anything. Things that really rattle a first time director, experienced directors don't even blink an eye. There's an ease. They know the world's not gonna fall a part. There's a sense of acceptance about the chaos.<snip>

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  • 3 months later...

Juliette Lewis answered a few questions about SFD during an interview for something else:


HALPER: Has leading a band changed the kind of roles you're looking for?

LEWIS: Well, the band's been my main livelihood, so it gave me tremendous artistic and creative freedom in that I only do movies for really the love of it. One of the most profound acting experiences I had in my whole career happened in Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, Sympathy for Delicious, and initially I didn't want to do it.

HALPER: Because you play a musician?

LEWIS: I play a base [sic] player. I didn't want to do anything that had a band in the movie to not trivialize what I've been doing. But after my first meeting with Mark, I walked out going well, I have to do this movie. First of all, the character scared me because it had clichés. The band was deconstructing and was filled with debauchery and stuff and I didn't have any story in my own band like that except for fractured communication. That's the dynamic that's gonna happen in any band. But I was attracted to the project because it had to do with healing. It's a wild, inventive, strange story. It's really about the DJ, Christopher Thornton, who wrote it. He's Mark's friend, and he's paraplegic, he had an accident when he was really young. The movie asks a question about healing - if you had the power to heal, but you couldn't heal yourself, would you heal others? They've been working to get this movie made for more than ten years. And that's why I make movies. To take chances and support people's journeys – to me it's a bigger experience than a part and who you are working with. I'm not in the game of career maintenance. I never was very good at going to parties, wearing dresses people talked about.<snip>

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little background from The Hollywood Reporter:

<snip>Mark Ruffalo, director/co-star

"During the years we had spent in the theater, (writer/star Christopher Thornton) and I had met a benefactor, this woman in New York who came into a big inheritance and became a patron of the arts, primarily theater. Over the years, she had given our theater company money. At one point, we went to her and said, 'Would you be willing to put in a portion of this budget to get this movie rolling in a serious way?' and she said, 'Yes.' I said, 'Do you want to read it?' She said, 'No, I don't need to read it. I believe in you two.' "

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The end of this week is like a race to keep up with the flood of trailers and clips coming out of Sundance. On deck now is nine minutes of Sympathy for Delicious. It is the first film directed by actor Mark Ruffalo, written by and starring Christopher Thornton, who plays “a newly paralyzed DJ [who] gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing.”

The film also features Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney and John Carroll Lynch. The footage is grainy and energetic, and most of the performances look rock-solid. Check out the footage after the break.

Thornton (who is actually paraplegic, due to a climbing accident) describes his character Dino Dwyer, aka DJ Delicious D, as a down and out paralyzed guy who eats via a soup line run by Father Joe (Ruffalo). He’s attending healing services, and wakes up one day with the realization that he can lay hands on people and heal them. Then, as Ruffalo says, “he takes his God-given gift and prostitutes it for sex, drugs, rock and roll and fame.”

I love what I’m seeing here from Thornton, Ruffalo and Bloom. Seeing Bloom look like he’s really on top of the role is a pleasant surprise, and while it’s no shock to see Ruffalo look like he’s nailed his role, it’s always great to see the guy work. I hope Peter and/or David manage to catch this one so we can get some first-hand impressions.


9 minutes worth of footage from Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut "Sympathy For Delicious" has landed online and promises a gritty, realistic, edgy if not slightly surreal tale of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. Be forewarned, the footage seems like a complete summary of the film and appears to have some major spoilers in there so may want to hold off on watching it all the way through.

Written by and starring Christopher Thornton, the film follows a paraplegic DJ who acquires the ability to heal, only to prostitute his new-found powers for sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. From what we can glean from the clips Ruffalo plays a priest who tries to advise Thornton on what to do with his powers; Juliette Lewis is a groupie/band member; Orlando Bloom appears to be a hard partying Brit rocker while Laura Linney plays a nun. As we previously reported, Montreal's Besnard Lakes will be scoring with musical contributions from members of the Mars Volta and Shiny Toy Guns.

We dig the grimy, low key aesthetic of the film, and the performances look first rate. We're curious to see how this one turns out.


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Details of the post production digital intermediate work are available here. Apparently several alternative endings were filmed which might be something to look forward to on the DVD extras. Or it could be the same ending with technical differences.

The film follows wheelchair bound DJ "Delicious" D (Thornton) as he fights to survive life on the mean streets of LA, makes his entree into the world of faith healing and navigates encounters with an unstable rock band. Shot on 35mm 2-perf film, "Sympathy" has a gritty, starkly realistic look. Prime Focus colorist Doug Delaney worked closely with Ruffalo and DP Chris Norr to preserve the edgy feel of the natural street photography.

"Our DI focused on making sure the film stayed true to Chris' original photography. It wasn't about creating something that wasn't there - it was more about reinforcing the image and supporting his gutsy style. He wasn't reluctant to take chances." Delaney said

Scanning the film in 4K on Northlight gave Prime Focus a sharp source with which to start the DI. They then conformed and color graded it using Baselight. As part of the DI process, Prime Focus also received a number of cuts for ending options from Editor Pete Beaudreau in New York. The alternates were then conformed at 2K so Ruffalo could preview the various endings, fully color graded, on the big screen in Prime Focus' L.A. DI theater.

"Being able to see the alternate endings in full context was really useful," said Ruffalo. "The team at Prime Focus was willing to experiment with us; to use the DI technology to benefit the underlying story and not just the look. They created a very comfortable and confident environment to finish the film.

I'd say they 'preserved the edgy feel.' And it's gritty and starkly realistic, too.
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LA Times Article

There is faith, the showy display of religiosity that is the trick-of-the-trade of faith healers, and then there is faith, a kind of belief in a transcendent reality.

In a plain Hollywood church, both were on display last February, as actor-turned-director Mark Ruffalo finished filming on his directorial debut "Sympathy for Delicious," an unusual story about a jaded, homeless, paraplegic disc jockey, "Delicious" Dean O'Dwyer, who suddenly finds he has the power to heal, although he can't heal himself. On stage, John Carroll Lynch, playing a kind of cut-rate faith healer (in the mold of televangelist Benny Hinn) is exhorting "that the holy spirit is upon you" to a congregation of would-be believers, including several rows of men and women in wheelchairs. Among the handicapped is writer-star Christopher Thornton,with grimy dark hair, several days of stubble and an air of furious desperation.

The 41-year-old Thornton has been one of Ruffalo's best friends for the last 20 years. Unlike most actors who play the handicapped, like Daniel Day-Lewis in "My Left Foot" or Tom Cruise in "Born on the Fourth of July," Thornton can't just get up from his chair when Ruffalo calls cut; he has been a paraplegic since 1992, when he fell and fractured two vertebrae while rock climbing. In "Sympathy for Delicious," Thornton channels his complicated feelings about his accident. The film is also the fruit of his long friendship with Ruffalo, a tie that sustained them both through Thornton's accident, as well as Ruffalo's subsequent battle with a brain tumor, let alone the nine years it took to bring "Sympathy for Delicious" to the screen. The $3.3-million film, which also stars Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney and Juliette Lewis, as well as Ruffalo, was scheduled to debut Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.

During a break, Ruffalo, who has appeared in such films as "Collateral," "Zodiac" and the upcoming "Shutter Island," explains that Thornton first told him of his movie idea as Ruffalo was wheeling him to a liquor store on the fifth anniversary of his accident. The two, then roommates, had met in the early '90s when both attended acting classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory in L.A. with such future stars as Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek.

After the accident, Ruffalo and other friends had coaxed Thornton back on stage for a part in "Waiting for Godot." Nonetheless, the fifth anniversary was a moody time for Thornton.

"He was upset and sad," says Ruffalo, a woolly, warm presence in jeans and beat-up blazer. "I said, 'Chris, I've known you before and after your accident, and God forbid, I'm telling you this. Maybe I'm the only one who could say something like this to you, but maybe this horrible tragedy is a blessing in disguise. I've seen you become like this amazing, totally inspirational guy over all these years from this thing, just as a human being. Maybe there's a gift in it somewhere.' "

Even today, Thornton gets "annoyed" when Ruffalo says things like that to him, as he explains when he rolls up and joins the interview. "You hate being told that. It's like, 'Why don't you be the big guy sitting in the chair? I'd rather be the shallow walking dude," he jokes.

Thornton explains that he'd been brooding about the script since he started going out for acting parts in his wheelchair. "I wanted to write a story about a man in a wheelchair that was believable and three-dimensional and flawed," he says, pointing out there have been movies that show the hospital and the first aftermath of a paralyzing accident, but "there's two tragedies that happen with an injury like this."

After a person has recovered, he must face the rest of his life. "You're not dying. That circle of friends that was visiting you all the time has gone back, and you're just, like, sitting in a chair. And then what? It's one thing to lose your ability to walk, but if you have a passion in life or an ability in life and you lost that, that's really hard, and even more damaging in a way."

Thornton had zeroed in on a stage that he went through about 18 months after his accident, when reckless hope trumped rational thought. "You're ready to believe in miracles," says Thornton, who was dragged to a number of holistic practitioners and faith healers by friends. He was often caught up in the frenzy, but "then you resent it later" and get mad at yourself "for having been duped."

On that fateful walk to a liquor store, Thornton told Ruffalo about his idea of a jerky, selfish guy in a wheelchair with magical faith-healing powers, and the actor perked up. "I was like, 'Oh, my God,' that's a story." In 1999, Ruffalo, who'd directed Thornton in a variety of plays, came on officially as the director and the pair began reworking Thornton's script. The hero evolved into a scratch DJ, and they moved the story to the world of rock 'n' roll, a chaotic arena of self-promoting tricksters who have a lot in common with faith-healers. In the film, Bloom and Lewis play druggy punk rockers who create an act featuring Delicious' healings and start a nationwide sensation.

Despite his handicap, Thornton continued to work in theater and TV and shot five pilots that didn't get picked up. After years of struggling, Ruffalo's big break turned out to be the 2000 Sundance hit "You Can Count on Me." In 2001, however, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. "Chris was the only one I told," Ruffalo says. "I couldn't tell my wife because she was about to give birth" to their first child.

The tumor turned out to be benign, but Ruffalo underwent brain surgery to have it removed, surgery that initially left his face partly paralyzed.

Ultimately, however, Ruffalo made a complete recovery and returned to acting, starring in such films as "13 Going on 30" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." He and Thornton returned to finessing the script and hunting for financing. "For years, we couldn't get it done. Everybody turned it down who was in a position to finance the film, all the independent houses," Thornton says. "Mark personally brought it to most of them, and they couldn't see the movie or they wanted a star to play Dean."

Along with producer Andrea Sperling, Ruffalo and Thornton cobbled together equity backing from various sources, including the new indie financiers Corner Store Entertainment. As they veered into pre-production at the end of 2007, Thornton and Ruffalo's relationship evolved again, from one of two guys in the trenches who do everything together to that of writer-star and director. "Mark stepped back and said, 'I'm going to separate myself and bring my own point of view to this,' " Sperling says. "There's a lot of love and friendship, mutual respect and admiration between them, and also some torture. They're almost like brothers."

Then another tragedy struck. Ruffalo's brother Scott was found in his Beverly Hills apartment with a fatal gunshot wound to his head, a homicide that hasn't yet produced an arrest. They pushed the start date of filming several weeks and as a result lost James Franco and another lead actor. Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney, who played Ruffalo's sister in "You Can Count on Me," were able to step in at the last minute to play the rock star and conniving music agent, respectively.

Not surprisingly, Ruffalo and Thornton related on a profound level to their hero's desire to be healed. Ruffalo says, "If you're going down in an airplane, everybody's all of a sudden like, 'Oh, God. Oh, God. Please, God.' "

This said, both take a dim view of the possibility of miracles. "That's all a crock," Ruffalo says. "I've never experienced a miraculous healing. For me, the theme of the movie is that you get the healing that you need. Not the healing that you want."

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There's a SFD story in the LA Times today:

Mark Ruffalo and Christopher Thornon Pull a Matt & Ben

Back in 1997, when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were going from unknowns to Oscar winners, two struggling actors watched the success of the "Good Will Hunting" writers and felt motivated.

One of those actors, Mark Ruffalo, wound up breaking out in the 2000 indie darling "You Can Count on Me" and went on to star in such films as "Collateral," "Zodiac" and the upcoming "Shutter Island." The other was Christopher Thornton, Ruffalo’s close friend from their days as students at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Los Angeles. Thornton's career had been significantly derailed by a climbing accident in 1992, which left him in a paraplegic.

The two have now collaborated on a new movie, "Sympathy for Delicious," which debuts at Sundance tonight.

Directed by Ruffalo and written by Thornton, it centers on an angry and homeless paraplegic disc jockey named Delicious D (Thornton) who discovers he has the ability to cure illnesses with his hands. He can’t cure himself, however, and instead allows his skills to become the centerpiece of a punk rock act. “The band’s leader is, like, it would be cool to bring it onstage, man. Just as a little sideshow. And what happens is it’s a sensation, and he becomes huge from it, “ says Ruffalo, who also acts in it, playing a priest working with the homeless.

As for the tone of the film, "there is definitely satire," says Ruffalo, noting that the frenzy of rock 'n' roll often mirrors the frenzy that surrounds faith healers. It's a practice that Ruffalo, who recovered several years ago from a brain tumor, doesn’t believe in. "The whole movie, there’s people battling against reality," he says.

Matt & Ben got an Oscar for their collaboration so here's to Mark and Christopher! :highfive:
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