The actor talks about marrying his career with his activism in “Dark Waters” When Mark Ruffalo read Nathaniel Rich’s 2016 New York Times Magazine profile of Rob Bilott—an Ohio corporate attorney who uncovered how chemical company Dupont was exposing employees and American communities to dangerous pollutants—he knew it was a story made for the big screen. Bilott spent 20 years battling DuPont—manufacturer of Teflon, the synthetic coating that makes pans nonstick and outdoor gear waterproof. He helped wake America up to the fact that many of those products (not to mention food wrappers, firefighting foam, and stain-resistant carpets) contain PFAS, a class of toxic “forever chemicals” that have contaminated US water supplies and goods since the 1940s. Ruffalo became an environmental activist a decade ago when energy companies threatened to frack for natural gas near his farm in New York State. With Bilott’s story, he envisioned a marquee movie that would alert the broader public to the toxics lurking in their day-to-day lives. That story hit screens in November with the release of Dark Waters , directed by Todd Haynes and produced by Ruffalo, who plays Bilott. The role marked a dramatic departure from Ruffalo’s recent work, such as […]

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