Lou Ferrigno was a young boy with an introverted personality and a speech impediment. He would read comic books from cover to cover, hoping some day to find a way to feel as good about himself as he did about the superheroes he adored. He life began to change in his early teen years and he went on to be the one of the people he admired the most.
At the early age of thirteen, Lou was looking for a someway to more confident in his own skin. One day at a friend’s house he saw some weights in the corner and tried to lift them. They were so large he couldn’t do it, yet. But, he knew then that someday he was going. “ One of them (his friends) flex their arm and he had a bicep, a small bicep like a baseball, I was like ‘Dang! I want be like that,’ and that is how it begun.”
Reading The Hulk® comics books for most of his life, he was ready when the audition opportunity came up. “I had been the Hulk my whole life,” said Ferrigno. He went in without preparing – knowing they would give him the role. After a short time of doing some pantomiming for the camera, he was given the role and began to film the next day. The Hulk was a great role that helped Lou break into the Hollywood scene.
Ferrigno stayed in the limelight of film for almost ten years before going back to weight-lifting. At forty-two, he went back to the competition circuit to finish the sport. At his age, with a wife and three kids, weight-lifting bought new challenges. “It’s a very narcissistic sport,” says Ferrigno. “You have no social life, your dieting and training, and you have to conserve all your energy for competing.” With his family’s support, he competed again, placing respectively at Mr. Olympia and Masters Oympia, and closed the book on his competitive weight-lifting career.
The movie role that stands out most to Lou was a documentary of a documentary he worked on called David and Goliath. The actor who was playing David kept trying to antagonizing Lou on set, which made him uncomfortable. It took him everything he had not to squeeze the life out of the actor. On the Celebrity Apprentice, the other members of the cast truly underestimated Lou. “They expected the Hulk to show up,” shared Ferrigno. When he got to the boardroom he was very outspoken and surprised everyone. “Luckily I learned a lot about branding and raised a hundred thousand dollars for my charity ALS”. No matter what role Lou has played in his life, he has taken a lesson from it.
One of Ferrigno’s newest ventures, Ferrigno Fit, by no surprise, is a fitness company that the whole family is involved with. “I don’t believe in dieting,” says Ferrigno. He wants to teach people how to adjust their eating habits for a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are the only way to really improve your life and health. Ferrigno’s latest project is presenting a body building show, FerringoFit.com, that he hopes one day will turn into a health expo, including fitness chiropractors and others. His kids all started out over-weight and they each made their own decision to get into shape and become personal trainers. With his whole family backing him, he has already proved he can do anything he puts his mind to. With his sons in mind, when it came to asking what his advice would be for the youth of today, those who look up to him, Ferrigno says, “Be passionate about what you do, and don’t compete or compare yourself to other people. Everyone has a different genetic make-up. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and negative people.”
Ferrigno is a lover of comic convention. They are a great way for people to come and meet their favorite characters, and be themselves for a day, without fear. It’s great to be able to emerge yourself in pop-culture. He hopes to leave a legacy behind of him of being in good shape and being healthy.
From introverted child to the Incredible Hulk, Ferrigno has proved to himself and the world that he has a lot to offer society as a whole. Expanding every year with new ideas and new endeavors, he will be in our hearts and mind for years to come as a hero in so many different ways.