Marvel decided to make the big announcement that Mark Ruffalo would be their new Hulk after their Thor panel at San Diego Comic-Con. The reveal was done in a major way with an introduction by Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr (watch video of his big entrance). Ruffalo will be the third actor to take on the role since 2003 following Eric Bana and most recently Edward Norton. Entertainment Weekly caught up with the star after all the hoopla died down to get some official words from the man who’ll be “hulking out” in 2012.

Ruffalo claims that he grew up with “The Hulk” TV series, and The Avengers comics so he’s very familiar with the material. He knows how dedicated fans are to these characters and he felt very nervous while making his first appearance at Comic-Con. Even though the fans got under his skin, nothing could prepare him for the weirdness he experienced when he found out he landed the role of The Hulk.

I’m a friend of Ed’s, and yeah, that wasn’t a great way for all that to go down. But the way I see it is that Ed has bequeathed this part to me. I look at it as my generation’s Hamlet.

As for what attracted him to the part:

He’s a guy struggling with two sides of himself — the dark and the light — and everything he does in his life is filtered through issues of control. I grew up on the Bill Bixby TV series, which I thought was a really nuanced and real human way to look at The Hulk. I like that the part has those qualities.

He’s not sure when The Avengers will begin shooting but he said sometime this winter. When we spoke to Samuel L. Jackson earlier this summer at a press junket for Mother and Child, he told us February. Therefore, Ruffalo and the rest of the gang have plenty of time to get prepared.

What do you think of Ruffalo taking over as The Hulk? Are you still a little bitter?