THIS WEEK the Bare Platypus Walter award goes to actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Dr. Bruce Banner in the blockbuster summer movie, The Avengers. Ruffalo’s scene in which he sits “naked” amidst rubble after crashing into a building as The Incredible Hulk, then morphing back into Banner is among the more classic moments in the film.
Although we don’t see any skin “below the waist,” the matter-of-fact way in which Ruffalo deals with having no pants after shrinking from a giant creature to mere mortal again deserves some accolades for acting. There’s a touch of sheepishness and embarrassment mixed with the confidence of a hero who probably deals with this “side effect” of his super powers often as he discusses his predicament with actor Harry Dean Stanton in the role of a helpful janitor.
We have to believe Mark Ruffalo captures the essence of an episode between President John Quincy Adams and a female reporter who snatched his clothes while he skinny-dipped in the Potomac. She wouldn’t return them until granted an interview. Or lads from a Saturday Evening Post cover caught playing hookey from school to skinny dip: slight chagrin at getting aprehended sans trou, without a hint of anything tawdry.
The Walter is named in honor of Dr. Walter Bishop from the hit TV series, Fringe. Dr. Bishop has a matter-of-fact attitude towards nudity. In his name the Bare Platypus presents a "Walter" award each week to the person, group, or event that best depicts nudity naturally.