[Warning: This article discusses major plot spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, so please, don’t show it to Mark Ruffalo or Tom Holland.]
Big movie franchises are in a weird position when it comes to spoiler security; by default, they’re eventually going to have to trust these things to the actual performers who have to say the lines and do the things, even though these people have, on the whole, been chosen for their expressiveness and likability and not, say, their ability to keep billion-dollar secrets to themselves.
Which is how we get videos like this one from last year, in which Mark Ruffalo—who’s totally great in Marvel’s current blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War—manages to blow the movie’s biggest twist on network TV, almost a year before the film actually came out. Ruffalo was doing a press tour with co-star Don Cheadle—whose “Where the fuck are you going with this, man?” facial expressions are a highlight—when he started nervously wandering into spoiler territory, culminating in a bluntly stated, “Wait ‘till you see this next one: Everybody dies.” And like a snap of a finger, it was out there, on Good Morning America for everybody to see.
To his credit, Ruffalo immediately starts trying to dial back his comment, as the interviewer does his damndest to push past this potential embarrassment to the ABC/Marvel/Disney family. Ruffalo’s clear nervousness—and Cheadle’s instant “Dude!” reaction—might just be a joke that happened to coincidentally pay off, but Ruffalo’s seemingly genuine mortification (and fear that “Barry,” whoever that is, is going to get mad at him) makes it seem like this was a genuine mistake. (“I get impulsive,” he mutters, head held sadly in his hands.)
If only Marvel had thought to assign Ruffalo a junket-buddy like Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s spent a lot of time over the last few months doing everything in his power to beep out the spoilers constantly falling from Tom “Peter Parker is Spider-Man, everybody” Holland’s loose lips during Infinity War’s press tour. (Not that it’s a foolproof system; Holland walked out to a cheering crowd at L.A.’s Arclight theater this weekend, and, thinking they’d already watched the movie, cheerfully dropped a spoiler about his character’s fate.)