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Fame & Fortune
Lou Ferrigno
Actor reprises role as hefty, green Hulk
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: Lou Ferrigno

Bankrate: One of your daughters also does some personal training, right?

Lou Ferrigno: Well she does it part time now because she's involved in producing a TV series for Warner Bros.

Bankrate: What is the most extravagant purchase you've made with a Hulk paycheck?

Lou Ferrigno: I don't think I've ever bought anything really extravagant besides my house, so I'd have to say my house in Santa Monica. It's a beautiful area and we're very happy here. But I think I don't spend a lot of money because of my upbringing. We never had a lot of money growing up.

Bankrate: If you weren't a bodybuilder, the Hulk and fitness trainer, what would you have become?

Lou Ferrigno: A psychiatrist. People like talking to me and I like helping and motivating people. That's why I still do my motivational speaking. And I also work with the sheriff's department; I'm a deputy sheriff and I work to motivate young kids. I also teach weapons training.

Bankrate: Why your involvement with children?

Lou Ferrigno: Because when I was younger, I had nobody to teach me. I was very shy and introverted and nobody reached out to help me. My parents didn't have money to have me see a psychologist or counselor. So being a role model myself, I'm very happy today to reach out and help kids because they need a real-life superhero. I would have given anything to have had someone like myself when I was growing up. At this stage in my life, I like giving back.

Bankrate: So you're a fitness trainer, motivational speaker, actor and author. Are you more partial to one area over another?

Lou Ferrigno: Really, I'm passionate about all of them equally. I do a lot of motivational speaking, a lot of fitness training and a lot of autograph signing at conventions. I am kind of spread out with four or five different businesses that I have invested myself into.

Bankrate: Who were your role models or heroes?

Lou Ferrigno: I loved watching Hercules and I also thought (actor and bodybuilder) Steve Reeves was a role model. As I got older, I thought Sean Connery was a good role model as James Bond. We didn't have all the great comic characters we have today that kids look up to as role models.

Bankrate: You beat out Arnold Schwarzenegger for the part of the TV Hulk. Did he ever say anything to you about losing that role?

Lou Ferrigno: No, it never really has come up and I think he's done very well for himself without having done the Hulk. I know that at the time, he was happy for me because he really wanted to go into movies and do his own thing. Everything worked out for the best for each of us, I think. He wanted to do movies and I was very happy doing a TV series. I didn't want anybody else to play the Hulk but me, actually, because I knew I was born to play that part. I've been the Hulk actually my whole life.

Bankrate: Do you have a favorite Hulk episode?

Lou Ferrigno: "King of the Beach," where I played a bodybuilder and the Hulk, is probably one of my favorites.

Bankrate: Did you get to keep any of the mementoes from the series?

Lou Ferrigno: I do have a few clothes that I took with me. But I have the largest Incredible Hulk memorabilia collection in the world that's priceless. Everything from toilet paper, dolls, bicycles ... yeah, it's a great collection.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: June 13, 2008
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