The following interview was recorded and written by Chris Doucher, Managing Editor for GeekNerdNet. NOTE: My complete Q&A with Lou Ferrigno is transcribed below the Soundcloud link.
When you think of Lou Ferrigno, the first obvious thoughts are that he’s the iconic face of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, a role he played on the famous CBS TV series, which also spawned numerous television movies of the week. You may also remember him as Mr. Universe, but you know, Mr. Ferrigno is more than those two great accomplishments. On day two of FAN EXPO Vancouver 2018, Mr. Ferrigno took time from his autograph and meet-and-greet session with fans to speak with me. I’ll admit, it was very hard to keep the (HUGE) fan side of me in check, but I think I managed. In our one-on-one interview, Lou talks about the positive impact that his portrayal of the Hulk has had on multiple generations of fans, and also how he keeps himself in top physical shape - even during his time spent travelling the world attending conventions and events like FAN EXPO Vancouver, the one he’s at this weekend.
We also delve into his role as a Deputy Sheriff in California, and the good that has come from performing that duty for 15 years, such as helping victims of bullying - including the bullies themselves. And, do you know what type of dog is Mr. Ferrigno’s favourite? Well, it’s a pug. So, if you’re attending day three of FAN EXPO Vancouver today, go meet Lou Ferrigno. He may have played the Hulk, but he is seriously one of the nicest guys I have ever met. And, on a personal note, I want to say this: Lou, thank you so much for speaking with me. Also, thank you for being there for anyone (regardless of age) who has been bullied, and for stepping back and being there for the person doing the bullying as well. You’re a true hero in so many aspects of the word. Here’s to more people following your lead.
Please listen to the full interview now by tapping/selecting “Listen in bowser” on the Soundcloud link. Depending on which device you’re accessing this interview, you may also click/select the SoundCloud Play button. NOTE: See below for transcribed version.
In addition to the audio version, I have transcribed the full interview for you to read. Enjoy.
CHRIS: Hi, its Chris Doucher for GeekNerdNet dot com. I am at FAN EXPO Vancouver 2018 and I am really trying hard to keep my excitement in because I am meeting one of my all-time favourites, Lou Ferrigno: The Hulk, Mr. Universe and so many great movies and shows along the way. Hello.
LOU: How are you this morning? And thank you, having a great time here and can’t believe the excitement with the fans here.
CHRIS: Yeah, I mean, you must never get tired of it. There’s so many…these kids just came up with their Dad, and they’re excited to meet you, giving you high-fives. How does that feel?
LOU: It feels great because you’ve got three different generations. I love the instant gratification with the fans, how much they appreciate how much the show affected their lives, and especially as I’ve had the chance to travel all over the world. But, I filmed the last two Hulk movies of the week in Vancouver so I know I have a huge fan base here.
CHRIS: You know, I want to ask you – outside of the Hulk – because everyone’s asking you about the Hulk, which is great, however, for a man of…you know, you look incredible still to this day, you work out daily. How does that routine affect you when you’re travelling to shows like this?
LOU: Well, for example, I train six or seven days a week. When I travel, I find a gym in the hotel, or if I have to find a way to exercise in the room, I make sure to do cardio, and I combine cardio with weight training. Now, when I travel, usually almost every hotel has a gym, compared to like 30 years ago, so I prepare myself ahead of time and I’m very consistent how I eat, too.
CHRIS: I want to jump for a second. I had no idea until this year that you’re a Deputy Sheriff where you are in California. How long have you been doing that, and what kind of fulfillment does that bring you?
LOU: I’ve been doing it for 15 years. I went through the academy 15 years ago because I wanted to do the real deal. I didn’t want to do the honourary thing because my father was an NYPD lieutenant. I’ve always been fascinated with law enforcement because I wanted to give back to protect life and property, home and security…dealing with people especially as a police officer, how to deal with kids – especially with bullying. That’s why I wanted to do the real deal. I went through the academy, became certified, and it’s one of my great achievements.
CHRIS: That’s fantastic, I mean, you mention bullying (pause)…um…I was bullied as a kid, but when I…you know, we’re at a convention here; my escape was comic books as a kid, and Incredible Hulk was one of them, and your show was one of them…
CHRIS: …and, so I guess…thanks! And, for conventions like this, and the comic book genre, pop culture in general, do you ever just find yourself going around and grabbing a comic and picking one up just for kicks?
LOU: Well, I have a lot of comics. I love walking around these kinds of shows because I’m always buying props like t-shirts, sometimes they have different pictures…it’s fun. But, getting back to bullying, what’s interesting is the Hulk series is the perfect avatar for bullying because Bill* gets bullied and he becomes the Hulk. That’s why we relate to that, and that’s why I advocate a lot about bullying because sometimes it’s not the victim that has the problem, it’s the bully. It could be a relative, it could be online, it could be anybody, and you have to take it seriously because now it’s important if somebody’s victimized, go to the police, talk to someone…don’t victimize yourself. (*Lou is referring to actor Bill Bixby, who portrayed Dr. David Banner in the CBS series, The Incredible Hulk.)
CHRIS: I want to jump to one quick thing here. Now, you’re very busy, you’ve got a lot of fans here to see you – again, thank you for taking the time – however, I have to ask you: You mentioned on Twitter that you love pugs. How many pugs do you have?
LOU: I’ve had two, we had to put two pugs down, we’re going to buy another pug, but the reason why I love pugs is because they go back thousands of years. They’re a Chinese dog and they have that small nose like Michael Jackson. They’re cute because when you leave them, and you go back in five minutes later, they act like they haven’t seen you for years. They’re a very sweet animal – the only problem is they snore a lot.
CHRIS: Well, Lou Ferrigno, for GeekNerdNet.com and myself, thank you so much.
LOU: My pleasure. Thank you. All the best to you.