Avengers Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans Talk About the First Time the Team Assembled (Video)

When you’re making The Avengers, one of the most highly-anticipated comic book movies of all time, it’s easy to assume that there are plenty of obvious moments of action or heroism that might rank as favorites for the cast and crew. But when asked for his pick, actor Mark Ruffalo offered an unexpected moment of vulnerability while playing the Hulk’s alter ego, Bruce Banner: “being naked in front of Harry Dean Stanton.”

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Ruffalo recently joined fellow cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans in Los Angeles to talk about the process of assembling the film’s “super” team. Downey revealed that there was something both exhilarating and intimidating about finally arriving on set for the first time to start shooting the film, which Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has been trying to get to the screen for many, many years. “There’s this first time we were all on the bridge,” Downey recalled. “We realized we were probably likely to continue shooting the movie – and we would have to make good on this vision of Kevin Feige’s.”

Hemsworth described that first day on set as “an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. But it was amazing,” he added. Evans said of the first time he saw Hemsworth and Downey dressed up as Thor and Iron Man, “I felt like a little kid. I was just honored to be a part of it.”

Ruffalo indicated that at the urging of writer-director Joss Whedon, he borrowed from Bill Bixby’s interpretation of Banner from the 1980s TV series The Incredible Hulk. “I rented [episodes of the show] with my ten-year-old son,” he explained. “After the third episode, he turned to me and said, ‘Papa, he’s so misunderstood’.”

So how exactly did being disrobed in front of Harry Dean Stanton come up? Naturally, mischief-maker Downey was the one to bring it up. “How come it’s only Harry Dean Stanton that got to see Mark Ruffalo naked?” he asked. “Anyone who has that answer, I’ll trade you one for it.”

Watch the video above for more comments from the cast about their characters, and the challenge of bringing a team of superheroes to the screen. The Avengers opens nationwide on May 4, 2012.