Lou Ferrigno Smashes the BFT
He’s been named Mr. America and Mr. Universe twice as a bodybuilder, a television icon as the titular character from the 1977 series The Incredible Hulk
, and a competitor on shows like Superstars
and Celebrity Apprentice
. In short, Lou Ferrigno is both big and a big deal. He joined the BFT on Thursday to talk about his life and career.
While ear infections suffered shortly after birth cost him nearly 80% of his hearing and made him a target for bullies as a child, Ferrigno admitted that if he had never lost his hearing he wouldn’t be the man he is today.
“They used to call me names – ‘Deaf Mute,’ ‘Deaf Louie,’” he revealed. “And I said, ‘Someday I’m going to be so powerful, so strong [that] no one could abuse me anymore.”
“The thing that kept me alive was power.”
When asked about the transition from bodybuilding to acting, Ferrigno explained that the transition wasn’t as difficult, as he found his love of performing during his first bodybuilding competition at age 19 in New Jersey. Ferrigno said that even though he finished 22nd and was ridiculed by his friends for competing, he knew he had found his calling.
“When I went out there [on stage] and flexed my arms, flashbulbs were going off,” said Ferrigno. “And I said [to myself], ‘This is my life. I like this,’ because I liked getting on stage and performing.”
Fast-forward to 1977, and Ferrigno is on nearly every TV in every household in America, green paint and all. And even though The Incredible Hulk
went off the air years ago, he is still recognized and remembered today for his role on the show. As Ferrigno explained, the legacy of the Hulk character has spanned over forty years, and he has contributed to the franchise throughout by way of voice over work and cameo appearances in modern-day Hulk films.
Lou Ferrigno will be appearing in person at the Wizard World Portland Comic Con
this weekend at the Oregon Convention Center.
To listen to the full interview, click below: