VIDEO: Mark Ruffalo Faked Childhood Salvation For His Grandma's Birthday

Feb. 24 2010, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

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Actor Mark Ruffalo is starring in the number one box-office movie, Shutter Island, with Leonardo DiCaprio, but his first major acting debut was at the young age of eight when he fooled a whole church filled with people.

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"I would go to Sunday school with my grandmother," Mark said on Tuesday night's Tavis Smiley show.  "She would drop me off at bible study and then she would go worship. I was doing this mostly to make her happy."

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Mark said was raised in a mostly Catholic family, with his grandmother converting to Christianity and his father being a Baha'i, but always wanted to please his "nana" as he called her.

When Mark was just eight years old his grandmother told him she wanted him to "go down and take Jesus into your heart today."  So Mark decided to appease his grandmother and get saved by famed televangelist Jimmy Swaggart that day in church.

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"They have a special section where they call the children down.  We line up and get down in front of a little kneeler in front of the stage.  Jimmy Swaggart goes down from one kid to the next, touching them and praying on them," Mark recalled. "I’m about four kids down and lo and behold, the first kid, he goes down.  Second kid takes a little bit longer, but he goes down.  Third kid, he goes down.  They’re on the ground just knocked out in the spirit of the Lord.

"They get to me and I’m sitting there and I’m hoping I’m going to go down. I’m praying that Jesus will knock me down, that I’m actually good enough to have that happen to me. It was just wasn’t happening!" Mark laughed. "I was waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and finally I thought, ‘Screw it!’ and I went down like the rest of them.  And I thought, ‘What kind of a human being are you?  You must be the anti-Christ himself that Jesus didn’t come down and then you faked it.’”


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