Mark Ruffalo: ‘Investigative journalism is still vital in society’

The Oscar-nominated Spotlight actor on the enduring importance of journalists.

Mark Ruffalo Loaded
Hulking presence Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo stars in Spotlight. Image Picture by Getty Images.

He’s up for an Oscar for his role in the campaigning drama Spotlight, and Mark Ruffalo has spoken out about the importance of journalism in instigating change in society.

Ruffalo plays Pulitzer-Prize winning Boston Globe journalist Mike Rezendez in the movie about the paper’s Spotlight investigative team exposing corruption and child abuse in the Catholic Church in the city. He believes journalists are essential when when it comes to exposing wrongdoings in society.

“There’s a space open for this film to really resonate in the world, and it’s in those moments where film is used as a tool to teach,” said the 48-year-old. “It really doesn’t happen that often in filmmaking where you can influence the conversation.”

Mark Ruffalo Loaded
Inspiration Mark pictured onset with journalist Mike, who he plays in Spotlight. Image Picture by Getty Images

Ruffalo, known for his human rights and environmental activism, was bowled over by the work that Mike Rezendez continues to do for the Globe since the church story broke in 2001.

“With two or three articles, Mike literally changed the state’s legislation on a certain issue where people were being hurt,” Ruffalo said of his time watching Rezendez at work. “I can’t think of any other movement that can affect that much change in such a short period of time.”

Ruffalo is up for a Best Supporting Actor gong at the Oscars alongside Best Supporting Actress nominee Rachel McAdams, who plays fellow reporter Sacha Pfeiffer. The film has four other nominations Best Director for Tom McCarthy and Best Picture.

But like his co-star Michael Keaton who plays journalist Walter Robinson in the film, Ruffalo says the movie’s success is all down to the original story and people who inspired it.

“I’m in the entertainment business, and we get to make different types of movies,” he said. “Sometimes you get to make a movie that pushes culture from a particular place. Once I read the script, I immediately felt like this was the time to revisit it. We have a new Pope and there’s space for this to resonate in the world right now. We made the movie but they did the work.”

Spotlight is released in UK cinemas on January 29.

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Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1

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