- Last Updated: 12:11 PM, May 4, 2012
- Posted: 12:40 AM, May 4, 2012
It’s not easy being green — but for this New Yorker, it was a dream come true.
Steve Romm, the beefed-up body double who was painted green and used by moviemakers as the model for the Hulk in “The Avengers,” is a male stripper who grew up just a stone’s throw from New York City and has a family history with Lou Ferrigno — the actor who played the big green superhero on TV in the 1970s.
“I always wanted to be big like Lou Ferrigno — my cat is even called Louie,” Romm, 37, told The Post yesterday.
He said his grandfather became pals with Ferrigno when they worked together at a sheet-metal factory in Brooklyn before the bodybuilder was cast opposite Bill Bixby on the CBS hit in 1977.
“I grew up hearing all those stories about Lou Ferrigno,” Romm said. “Lou was Mr. Universe at the time.”
Romm, originally from West Hempstead, LI, had been working as a competitive bodybuilder, a bouncer and a male stripper at bachelorette parties when he auditioned last year to be an extra in “The Avengers.”
While the 270-pound, 6-foot-5 unknown actor felt he could probably land a paying job on the movie, he secretly hoped to follow in Ferrigno’s footsteps. But at first, he was cast as a lowly soldier.
Then, during his first day on the set, a casting director approached Romm with an offer that knocked his socks off: “How would you feel about being painted green?”
“It was a dream come true,” he said.
It took hours to be painted green every day and almost as long to have the paint scrubbed off, Romm said.
Producers also kept his identity a secret. He was not allowed to leave the set wearing his green paint.
Later, computer effects were used to enlarge and enhance his beefy body — and add the face of actor Mark Ruffalo (inset) — to create the raging, 1,000-pound superhero.