A Lot Like My Life: Lou Ferrigno on ‘Liberator’

Finally playing a superhero besides The Incredible Hulk, fighting Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and what he thinks of Mark Ruffalo.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

 

Lou Ferrigno is back as a superhero. No, it’s not The Avengers 2. Not yet at least. Ferrigno stars in the original short film Liberator, premiering Saturday August 11 at the Hollyshorts Festival. Liberator comes out of retirement to kick some ass, with Ed Asner as The President and costars Michael Dorn, Peta Wilson and Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Ferrigno can’t make the premiere this weekend because he is booked at Wizard Con, but we got the exclusive to talk to him by phone from Chicago. Get your tickets to Hollyshorts here.

 

CraveOnline: Is this the first superhero you’ve played since The Incredible Hulk?

Lou Ferrigno: Yeah, I would say so because he’s more of an agent character, something I’m really excited about.

 

Who is Liberator?

Me. 

 

What do you say about the character?

Well, this is a guy that was rejected from the military. He was like an unstoppable machine and the whole world is against him. He lost his relationship with his daughter, his wife and he decided to bring out the truth and write a book. They’re out to kill him so he gets his revenge. It’s basically a story about a real hero, about finding justice.

 

What is Liberator’s alter ego?

Alter ego I would say is myself. 

 

What did you think of the costume for Liberator?

I liked it because at the very end, with the daughter and I, it’s just great because the combination of The Liberator has the power to fight, she’s able to fly and do different things. 

 

How did the suit compare to the green makeup you used to have on The Hulk?

A lot different, a lot more fun and I was a lot happier.

 

Do you get to fight Don “The Dragon” Wilson?

Yeah, that was great. I’ve known Don for a long time and he’s a true martial artist. This movie has Ed Asner, Peta Wilson, Michael Dorn. There was a combination of a lot of different actors and especially the fight scenes with the stunt guys, they were the best stunt guys. I think the movie has the whole package.

 

Is the idea to do more Liberators?

Oh, I’d love to. We’re just hoping to get, I would think more like a TV series, or another film. Either a sequel or directly to a TV series.

 

What would you like the further adventures of Liberator to be?

Other characters, other evil characters. It’d be more like a modern day adventure but in a different retrospect, more in the Liberator fashion. I would say with agent characters.

 

Are you missing the premiere this weekend?

I can’t [make it], I’m in Chicago here for the Wizard Comic-Con. Unfortunately I can’t make it.

 

How is Wizard Con going?

Great. It’s got over 100,000 people. I’m looking forward to it. A lot of fun.

 

You got to do the Hulk’s voice in The Avengers. What did you think of Mark Ruffalo?

I loved him. I thought he was a great Bruce Banner. Hopefully he’ll stay with The Hulk because they keep changing Bruce Banners, but I thought he did a fantastic job.

 

You’ve kept your size from the bodybuilding days. These days you’re even bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger. All these years after Pumping Iron do you feel like you’ve beaten him?

Well, it’s different because he’s a good friend of mine, I’m 5-6 years younger than him so we’ve got love for the sport.

 

Right, he’s obviously still in great shape too but just since he went into politics, he probably didn’t keep up quite as intense a workout routine.

Well, he went into politics, I’ve a deputy sheriff now for eight years. So basically I’m more involved with law enforcement. Pumping Iron basically opened a lot of doors for the both of us and put us on the map. 

 

Is that how they found you for The Hulk?

Yes. They went to Arnold but they saw that I’m more suitable for the part.

 

Where are you a sheriff?

In Los Angeles. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

 

How often do you work as a sheriff?

I put about 30 hours a month in. I do a lot of search and rescue so I make my own time and everything because my full time is show business. 

 

What do you think of the celebrities with reality shows about their law enforcement careers?

It depends on the celebrity because when I do it it’s the real deal. I think because of my background, my father was a lieutenant from New York and I’ve always been on the side of the law. Basically I’ve got no skeletons in my closet. I just like giving back. 

 

Does that background help you play characters like Liberator?

Sure, very much. It’s a lot like my life.