While interviewing Mark Ruffalo at the Nantucket Film Festival over the weekend, we were surprised that the actor had as many questions for us as we had for him. For example, he wanted to know all about The Boston Globe because, he said, he’s signed up to play reporter Michael Rezendes in Tom
McCarthy’s movie about the Pulitzer-winning team that uncovered the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.
Ruffalo said he planned to do some research at the Globe about the real-life reporting team, and asked us about Rezendes, Walter Robinson, and former Globe editor Marty Baron. Ruffalo, who said he’d be heading to London after Nantucket to continue filming the next installment of the “Avengers” series, said he’s already familiar with Boston, having stayed in Rhode Island last year to play a guy from Boston in the movie “Infinitely Polar Bear.”
Ruffalo was on the island to hype his new movie, “Begin Again,” and while waiting for Saturday’s screening, he mingled with documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, whose film “Last Days in Vietnam” won the weekend’s Audience Award for Best Film.
Aaron Sorkin was also at the festival to pick up the 2014 Screenwriters Tribute Award, and during an afternoon chat with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the screenwriter of “A Few Good Men,” “The Social Network,” and “The West Wing” admitted that he’s earned his reputation for writing awfully talky scripts. It was most apparent, he said, when he turned in a 385-page script for “The American President.”
“I was falling in love with my own voice,” he said.
Maybe so, but it’s a voice that’s earned Sorkin multiple Emmys and an Academy Award. It’s also, he claims, all he has.
“I write nothing of any visual appeal. I write radio plays,” he told Matthews, an obvious Sorkin sycophant.
Sorkin credited his ability to write decent dialogue to his time as a bartender.
“I wrote ‘A Few Good Men’ on cocktail napkins at the Palace Theatre while tending bar,” he said. “I didn’t know anything.”
He was 25. Now 53, Sorkin said he’s still improving as a writer, or at least trying to.
“I just watched ‘Working Girl,’ he said, referring to the 1988 movie starring Melanie Griffith. “It’s just such a terrific story. I want to be able to do that.”
He’ll have a chance. Next up is a biopic of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, to be directed by Danny Boyle.
The festival continued Sunday with the annual All-Star Comedy Roundtable, this year featuring Ben Stiller, Milton’s own Jenny Slate, Jon Daly of “Kroll Show,” Michael Ian Black, and Billy Eichner. The event was low-key, but festival executive director Mystelle Brabbée told us that Thursday night’s festivities, which included a live reading of Donick Cary’s television pilot, “Strange Calls,” was a riot. (Rory Culkin, who was on the island for a screening of his film, “Gabriel,” stepped in, taking on the role of Lobster Boy.) “Strange Calls” is about a Boston cop who moves to Nantucket and answers calls from a pack of local characters. Cary, co-executive producer on “Parks and Recreation,” is a Nantucket native.
The film fest also drew Mark Duplass, who had two movies to show (“The One I Love” and “Creep”) and “Boyhood” star Ellar Coltrane, who told us he was anxious to hit up Nantucket’s Juice Bar.