Lou Ferrigno is using his muscles for a new job: the sheriff’s deputy in New Mexico.
The Incredible Hulk actor and bodybuilder announced in an interview on his own website that he is set to begin working for the San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s department.
“This is the real thing because I’ve played sheriff over the years in different films,” said Ferrigno, 68. “I’ve done over 40 films. This, I take very seriously and I’m very excited, very proud to be a deputy because my whole life I’ve always wanted to be a sheriff.”
Ferrigno said in the interview that he has dedicated 20 hours a month to the SLO County sheriff’s office since 2012.
“Lou started at L.A. sheriffs as a reserve,” SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson explained. “He was interested in volunteering time here and wanted to commit time to San Luis County because he was a part time resident here as well for many years. I’d known Lou for years, so first it was kind of the personality test to make sure he was the type of guy that I thought would represent us well, which I obviously did, otherwise I would not have been friends with him.”
Parkinson also confirmed that Ferrigno would be subject to the same standards as the regular patrol deputy or correctional deputy.The actor even attended the police academy in southern California at the urging of L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, according to the interview.
“People assume it’s just an honorary thing,” Ferrigno said. “It isn’t, because I’m certified and I have police powers which I’m very proud of. So, I went through all the driving, the shooting, the studying, and it changed my life and I’m very happy to be a real-life hero, protecting life and property.”
Ferrigno, who suffered a debilitating ear infection that destroyed 75% to 80% of his hearing as a child, previously served as a reserve deputy in California. He was also previously a volunteer for the Arizona sheriff’s department.
In 1977, Ferrigno was cast as the Incredible Hulk in the CBS series, which ran from 1978-1982. He has reprised the role as a voice collaborator in several Marvel movies, including the first two Avengers films.
Aside from his acting career, Ferrigno has spent years dedicated to bodybuilding, which he officially retired from in the 90s, and co-founded his family’s fitness program, Ferrigno Fit, with his daughter Shanna.