NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley -- rare performers who have achieved both artistic and commercial success -- say appearing in big-budget blockbusters does not compromise their integrity.
Since the price of fame and fortune is a central theme in writer-director John Carney's music-infused, independent film, Begin Again, the movie's co-stars were asked at a New York press conference Thursday if they ever feel they are selling out when they make huge Hollywood movies such as The Pirates of the Caribbean or Marvel's The Avengers.
"I like differences. I think that's what is really nice about being an actor," Knightley noted. "I don't dislike big blockbusters. In fact, I like them very much. In fact, sometimes it is exactly what is called for on a day when it is raining and I want to have popcorn and I just want to get lost in it. I sort of think about that as far as making them, as well. I like the differences. I did Jack Ryan because I wanted a pure piece of popcorn. It just exactly fit. I'd come from Anna Karenina where it was just this incredibly stylized... trying something in a new way... very, very dark. And what I really wanted after that was something absolutely different. And the same thing with this film. I wanted it to be really low-budget and really kind of hit-the-ground-running and keep going and work as fast as possible. All that. I wanted that kind of speed. So, I think I feel incredibly privileged that I get the opportunity to do both. I certainly don't sneer at big-budget things and I don't sneer at low-budget things. I think it's about the opportunity to do all different styles."
"I got into acting because I want to act and I love acting," added Ruffalo. "My true north is to be creative and to be challenged in what I love to do and sometimes that takes me into a big-budget movie. Sometimes that takes me into a small-budget movie. But I'm doing essentially the same thing, each one of those. And in every one of those, I'm stretching, in a way, or that is my aim. I come from the theater and, in the theater, you're never pegged for one thing. You can be in a comedy one season, you can be the romantic lead the next season. You could do a period piece the next season, something modern the next season. No one ever says to you, 'This is what you have to do,' or, 'This is what we expect of you.' So, that work ethic is what I've tried to bring -- not that I've tried -- it's what I know to bring to my film work, as well. It just takes you on this wild ride and the day that I decide to do something just purely for monetary gain or for the idea that this is going to get me what I need to do to get to the next thing or set me up financially in a way that I can do this next thing, I think is incredibly cynical and will only lead to your downfall some way or another if it hurts your creative self and, so, the idea of selling out is a projection that people create about people that is more of a reflection of who they are than what is actually happening in front of them with the artist, I think, a lot of times."
Co-starring Adam Levine, James Corden and Catherine Keener, Begin Again opens in select theaters Friday.