On Thursday, Mark Ruffalo received his long overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although he has been active in the industry since the ’90s, the accomplished Broadway performer and romantic comedy actor earned recognition for his role as Matt in 13 Going on 30. Ruffalo, who starred opposite Jennifer Garner, almost deprived viewers of the iconic “Thriller” dance scene.
The Iconic “Thriller” Dance Scene Earned Pop Culture Significance
In 13 Going on 30, 13-year-old Jenna Rink (Garner) awakens one day to find that her wish of becoming “30, flirty, and thriving” has come true. She finds herself living in 2004 as a magazine editor, while her fellow teens are all grown up living separate lives of their own.
Fans of the Gary Winick movie will be undoubtedly familiar with the scene in question. As Jenna adjusts to her new adult life, she successfully revitalizes a dull office party by leading all the guests — Matt included — in a sort of “Thriller”-inspired line dance. But it was this exact scene that almost turned Ruffalo away from the project altogether.
Ruffalo Wasn’t Quite Sold on the Idea at First
During the Walk of Fame ceremony, Garner made a point of highlighting how 13 Going on 30 almost removed the “Thriller” segment. Apparently, Ruffalo wasn’t overly fond of it. Garner started out by mentioning Ruffalo’s other on-screen interests, then segued into a discussion regarding Mark’s apprehension.
“I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark’s anxiety as much as I did,” Garner continued. “I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films, like he did out of ours after the first rehearsal of the ‘Thriller’ dance where Mark went from kind of shocked that we actually had to do this, to antsy, to deathly quiet, to ‘Bro, this is not for me.’”
Ruffalo and Garner recreated the scene on Thursday in Los Angeles after Ruffalo unveiled his own permanent mark on the Walk of Fame.
In March 2021, Garner told theSkimm:
“We started to learn the dance. Our first rehearsal, I think it was Mark and Judy [Greer] and me, and Judy and I were both dancers growing up and poor Mark didn’t know that. And he came in and he hated the rehearsal process so much he almost dropped out.”
Let’s count our blessings that he didn’t.