The legendary bodybuilder returns to the franchise that made him a star

Yesterday while visiting the set of the new Paul Rudd/Jason Segel comedy I Love You, Man, we got a chance to chat with legendary bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. In the film he plays himself, a client of Segel's that is looking to buy a bigger house. While discussing that project, the subject of this week's The Incredible Hulk came up. Not only does Lou have a surprise cameo in the film, he is also doing the voice of the Hulk himself. Here is what Lou had to say about the upcoming Marvel comic book adaptation, which seems to be more of a continuation of the 1978 Friday night TV series he starred in than it does a sequel to Ang Lee's 2003 film:

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Are you excited about The Incredible Hulk?

Lou Ferrigno: I am very excited about the premier this coming Sunday. I was very happy to do the voice, because this particular movie will be leaning more towards the TV series. I am very happy to be involved with Edward Norton, and my favorite great director Louis Leterrier. People might think it's cool. I think it could be a huge hit.

After all these years doing the "Hulk", do you have a preference on how tThe Hulk is being depicted?

Lou Ferrigno: Well, I haven't seen the movie. But I think it's nice that the Hulk is nine feet tall instead of forty feet tall. I think Ang Lee did a great job, and that was more like the comic book. But this new one is more like the TV series. You have the cat and mouse chase. And I think the Hulk is more sympathetic. I was glad to be doing the voice, because the character will now be more believable. I am also playing a part in the movie, but I can't contractually say what it is. But it is a surprise. It's a nice scene.

Why can't you talk about it?

Lou Ferrigno: Because the contract is signed. I can't talk about it until after the film is out.

Is it something so amazing that we can't know about it?

Lou Ferrigno: It's a requirement from Universal Studios that I can't talk about my part. Everyone has signed one of these agreements. But you'll find out in four days.

How is the body building going?

Lou Ferrigno: It is going great. I am involved with my website, I am also doing a shoot for Fitness. It is a father-son workout thing. I am very active with them. I write articles, and have been with them for thirty years.

So you workout with your sons?

Lou Ferrigno: Yes, they are very involved in it. One is eighteen and the other is twenty-three. They are both avid bodybuilders. And they try to emulate me. Of course they have a college education, this is just a camaraderie thing. Maybe its because I own a gym.

Are they going to enter any competitions with the old man?

Lou Ferrigno: Oh, yeah. Sure. But the old man is going to stand up.

What are you working on next? We saw some clips on line that you may be showing up in the American Gladiators.

Lou Ferrigno: Yeah, I did a promo for American Gladiators. It's to promote the Hulk movie, because they are both produced by Universal Studios. It is sort of like hype for the movie. I am excited about the Hulk, because it has been so long. Young kids would like to see the continuum. I think this is going to take it to the next level. Because we were such a hit with the TV series. Its all about power, and kids love power. "Spider-Man" and the Hulk are Marvel's two biggest franchises. I'd like to see it continue, because it is a positive thing for the environment. Especially all over the world, and for the kids.

Working with Bill Bixby, and then working with Ed Norton. Was it surreal at all?

Lou Ferrigno: They are very similar in that they are both fine actors. Working with Ed is going to be closer to the series. I think we are going to surprise a lot of people, because he rewrote the script himself. And he knows what the character should be. That is important for the film.

The Incredible Hulk opens June 18th, 2008.