Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / the Hulk): "[Working with Whedon] was amazing. He's such a great collaborator. He knows this genre so well. He's so expansive in his understanding of a very, very complex story. We worked very closely on this version of Bruce Banner, and it was just -- I just love the guy. Had a great time with him. He's so smart. He's hilarious. He's got a great sense of humor. He writes in his completely own style. And he balances humor and action and real drama and mythology -- he's perfect for this." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
Cobie Smulders (S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill): "Joss is such a comedy fan, and he's so good at doing that, so it was nice to see that he infused comedy throughout the film.... I have been jealous of ["How I Met Your Mother"] costars Alyson [Hannigan], of Alexis [Denisof], of all of his crew for a long time. And I've been friends with him for a while.... I was so excited that I got to work with him on it.... I was quite nervous, and I was very grateful and extremely happy to have him there and in my corner. He was very kind to me and very much put me at ease, and he was great. He's a genius. He pulled it off. This must have been the hardest movie to ever make, and he did it." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
Samuel L. Jackson (S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury): "I really enjoyed being with Joss and talking with him before this even started, because Joss has this relationship with comics that I think I have with them. He’s always read 'em. And he understands the genre and how it works from the inside, and how these guys talk, and what the relationships between superheroes would be if they had relationships. And how each one would test the other in a certain way to find out who’s stronger, who’s better, who’s this, who’s that. He used me as the sort of glue to bring these guys together for one common cause, to make them understand that yeah, you’re all great individually, but think of how much greater you’d be as a unit." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
Chris Hemsworth (Thor): "Joss wrote the story as well as directed, so he had a very descriptive version of why things were written the way they were.... His through-line was educated because he put it to paper." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
Tom Hiddleston (Loki): "The thing about Joss is he happens to have done 'Buffy' and 'Angel' and 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' and all of those kind of what would be called genre stuff. But he's a Shakespearean, like he's a closet Shakespeare geek. The first time I ever met Joss, he came to see me in London in a production of 'Othello' on stage. So the reason that I'm in this film is because he saw me doing Shakespeare." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man): "Joss Whedon has really taken us to new depths of discovery for our characters. There are new things in the air and they each feel more real. The guy's my hero. He should be yours." (Marvel; Getty Images)Link
“The Avengers” finally comes to Blu-ray and DVD, following a record-breaking summer at the box office and half a decade of hype. The Marvel mega-franchise, with cinematic roots that date back to Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008, is still expanding, with a S.H.I.E.L.D. television series on ABC and a number of movie sequels in the works, including “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America 2,” “Thor: The Dark World” and an as-yet-untitled “Avengers” sequel.
The superhero blockbusters proved themselves vehicles for established stars (Robert Downey Jr.) and breakout performers (Tom Hiddleston) as the muscled men chosen to portray the comic classics on the big screen. And since the $1.5-billion success of “The Avengers,” writer-director Joss Whedon — previously best known for creating cult classic TV series “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — has become a big-budget director and a household name.
Hero Complex asked the stars of the Marvel superhero films what it was like working with Whedon. Flip through the gallery above to read their responses. They all had glowing things to say, but it might be Downey who summarized the experience best: “The guy’s my hero. He should be yours.”
— Noelene Clark
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