February 23, 2010
'Praying That Jesus Would Knock Me Down'
'Shutter Island' co-star Mark Ruffalo faked his conversion for Jimmy Swaggart as an 8-year-old
Mark Ruffalo, who stars in the No. 1 film Shutter Island, tells talk show host Tavis Smiley that he faked his conversion at 8 years old when Jimmy Swaggart was a guest preacher at his church. The episode will air tonight (check local listings).
Ruffalo said he agreed to "go down" to the altar to please his grandmother, who had been asking him to get "saved." He says that as Swaggart touched the heads of other children who had approached the altar, each child fell out, as if slain in the Spirit. But when Swaggart touched Ruffalo's head, he didn't feel a thing, but decided to fake it by falling backwards to the floor: "And that was my first acting gig."
Watch him tell the story -- and watch Smiley crack up as he hears it: