Splendour punters, if you recall, had one helluva time at the 2016 festival. On the first night, something terrible went wrong with the crowd management system, and suddenly you had ten thousand people trying to get on approximately three buses at the end of the night.
I was there, man. *drags cigarette* I saw the whole thing go down. We couldn’t even see the right line for our bus, let alone any hope of getting on it. Maybe a taxi? But no, that was a five hour wait, the stressed out security guard told us.
So we decided to walk. We weren’t alone – the road out of the North Byron Parklands was a steady stream of beleaguered punters making the long walk back to Byron Bay. As each lonely car drove past, everyone would turn and stick out a hopeful thumb, only to be repeatedly crushed by disappointment as it went by without slowing.
Well, apparently, a couple of those kids had the extreme good fortune to be picked up by Mark Ruffalo, a.k.a. the Hulk.
Marvel‘s new flick Thor: Ragnorak was filmed on the Gold Coast, and a bunch of the crew took some time out to head to the festival.
Oh yeah, we spotted / low key stalked them at the time. Sorry, Chris Hemsworth.
So Mark, Chris and director Taika Waititi – who all went to Splendour, FYI – are right now in town for the premiere of Thor: Ragnarok. They told Aussie presenter Scott Tweedie about the one-off taxi service during a live chat on Marvel’s Facebook page.
“Mark wonderfully picked up a couple of hitchhikers on the way home who were stuck on the side of the road,” said Chris.
“The police were harassing them,” added Mark. “They were like, ‘WHERE ARE YOU GOING?’ and they [the kids] are like, ‘We’re trying to get home’, and they [the cops] were like ‘WHERE’S YOUR CAR?”
So Mark jumped in and was like, “I know them.”
“WHO IS HE?” the cops said to the kids. They turned to Mark: “WHO are YOU?”
Pretending to the cops that he was their uncle, Mark drove the kids home (yeah yeah yeah, it sounds suss, but this is the HULK and also they were stranded and uh, not kids).
It turned out they were staying someplace way out past Ballina, which ended up being 2 or 3 hours in the opposite direction to where Mark was headed. But like a true (super)hero, he drove them home anyway.
They also had no idea that a huge Hollywood celeb was driving them home.
“At one point we were driving and they were like, ‘Wait a minute, isn’t it that guy? Are you in a movie?” Mark said. “We’re like, halfway to their house.”
Extremely, unbelievable jealous that *my* long ass walk home from Splendour didn’t also end with a nice lift from a hot celebrity, but some things are not meant to be.
You can watch the full interview below, or skip to about 21 minutes for the Splendour yarn. (Honestly though, Mark Ruffalo’s impression of an Aussie accent is worth it.)