The internet has known for years that Paul Rudd is a superhero. Today, everyone else is finally getting a chance to realize it as they witness the Clueless and Knocked Up star shrink down into the role of Scott Lang in Marvel’s Ant-Man for the first time.
It may have been surprising for some when it was announced that Rudd would be playing a Marvel character, but Rudd has a lot more depth than fans may realize. Part of this may come from his wide array of life experiences, including once being mugged at gunpoint, taking on Michael Myers (the killer, not the comedian), and maintaining a boyish sense of humor all the way through adulthood.
But before his career possibly reaches new heights (let’s be honest, there’s no fame like Marvel fame), it would only be right to get to know the actor a little better by learning some fascinating facts about him.
He has British parents.
While Paul Rudd was born in New Jersey, his parents were actually born in London and moved to the U.S. before he was born. Their families, respectively, moved to the UK from Poland and Russia, and his last name, Rudd, is actually an abbreviation of “Rudnitzky.”
He used to DJ for bar mitzvahs.
Before he made it big in Hollywood, Rudd used to work the bar mitzvah circuit as a DJ. If that doesn’t make you at least crack a smile, check out the outfit he wore in this footage of him hosting a bat mitzvah. It’s okay to say he looks ridiculous.
He had a real gun held to his head.
When he was shooting Clueless, Rudd had a close encounter with a mugger that could’ve ended very, very badly. He had a gun held to his head in a parking lot, and the mugger actually fired it in the air to prove that it was real.
“I just remember the sound of it,” Rudd said to GQ. “I remember people in the parking lot being really freaked out. But I just got very calm. Then, I had to go to work the next day. It was a scene at a club. I was dancing. And I had just been shot at the night before.”
He has a running joke going with Conan O’Brien.
Every time Rudd appears on a Conan O’Brien talk show to promote a movie, he finds a way to sneak in the same clip from Mac and Me where a kid goes flying off a cliff in a wheelchair as an alien named Mac watches on.
At this point, it’s a tradition like no other.
He is still just a big kid.
Rudd is considered to be one of the nicest people in the business. Part of this may be because he’s never completely grown up. He’s maintained a youthful spirit, even though he’s 46, married and has two kids. You can even watch this video to see that he still enjoys a good fart joke (or 10).
He has eye dandruff.
Some of the best interviews are the ones when you get to follow the source around and see what they’d normally do in a day. Well, Rudd took that to another level when he let a writer from New York Magazine follow him to an optometrist appointment and they found out he has blepharitis (eye dandruff). He even joked that he could just wash his face in Head & Shoulders shampoo and fix everything.
He wanted to look like Adam Ant.
I’ll be honest. I just included this because it’s pretty cool that a kid that grew up wanting to look like Adam Ant is playing Ant-Man.
He’s a loyal Kansas City Royals fan.
Being loyal to a baseball franchise takes true commitment (trust me, I’m from Chicago), and Rudd’s proven that he has what it takes as a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan. During their recent push to win the ALCS, Rudd celebrated with everyone else. He even had some fans take a joke a bit too seriously when they showed up to his mother’s house for a party that wasn’t really happening.
But don’t get it twisted. He’d still rather win an Oscar than see the Royals win it all.
He is the first ever Tonight Show Lip Sync Battle champion.
Though the concept debuted on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, thanks to Stephen Merchant, Rudd is the first Tonight Show Lip Sync Battle champion with a win over Fallon. Rudd chose “You Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. You can’t dispute those choices or that result.
He’s kissed Jack Nicholson (on the lips).
While playing the son of Jack Nicholson’s character in How Do You Know, Rudd would have to kiss him on the lips… often. So, how did he and Jack break the ice? Kissing each other right on the mouth as soon as they met.
Rudd talked in depth about his experience on The Graham Norton Show.
He faced Michael Myers… and lived.
Rudd’s first movie wasn’t a comedy at all (if you think it is, you, sir or ma’am, may be a twisted individual). Instead, he first hit the big screen as Tommy Doyle in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. And get this, he lived. You’d almost expect a first-time actor to be added to the body count in a horror film, but Rudd proved that isn’t always the case.
He’s jumped out of moving cars.
What would you do to impress someone one a date? Would you jump out of a moving car? If not, you’re not half as cool and daring as Paul Rudd. Too bad everyone else in the car was more shocked than amused and he was the only one laughing. At least he walked away. Albeit with some new scars and a hurt ego.
He doesn’t believe in being a fake hero.
There are occasionally stories about celebrity look-alikes doing things that make their doubles look pretty bad. But this wasn’t the case when a Paul Rudd doppelganger broke up a fight in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Rudd was quick to say that he wasn’t the man involved and didn’t want to be considered a hero for something he didn’t do. Ironically, he’s now playing a superhero.