Paul Stephen Rudd (born April 6, 1969) is an American actor, screenwriter, and producer.
If you're watching one of his movies, there's a good chance that he's playing either a jerkass, the only sane man, or some combination thereof. Judd Apatow likes working with him. So do the Stella guys. Between them all, he's appeared in nearly every major American comedy produced in the past two decades, including Wet Hot American Summer, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I Love You, Man.
In 2015, he officially joined the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe superheroes when he debuted as Scott Lang —AKA Ant-Man— in his film of the same name. He later reprised the role in Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers: Endgame. For his involvement in the screenplays of both Ant-Man films, he's (to date) the only MCU actor who also co-wrote their own solo films.
Not to be confused with the (similarly named) actor and comedian Paul Rugg. Or the late actor Paul Kenneth Rudd (19402010).
- Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) as Tommy Doyle
- Clueless (1995) as Josh
- William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996) as Dave Paris
- Overnight Delivery (1998) as Wyatt Trips
- The Object of My Affection (1998) as George Hanson
- The Cider House Rules (1999) as Wally Worthington
- Wet Hot American Summer (2001) as Andy
- Friends (2002 — 2004) as Mike Hannigan
- The Shape of Things (2003) as Adam Sorenson
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) as Brian Fantana
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) as David
- Night at the Museum (2006) as Don
- Reno 911! (2006 — 2007) as Guy Gerricault
- Knocked Up (2007) as Pete
- This Is 40 (2012)
- Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) as John Lennon
- I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007) as Adam Pearl
- Over Her Dead Body (2008) as Dr. Henry Mills
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) as Chuck
- Role Models (2008) as Danny Donahue
- I Love You, Man (2009) as Peter Klaven
- Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) as Derek Dietl (voice)
- Year One (2010) as Abel
- Dinner for Schmucks (2010) as Tim Conrad
- Our Idiot Brother (2011) as Ned
- Parks and Recreation (2012, 2015, 2020) as Bobby Newport
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) as Bill Anderson
- This Is the End (2013) as himself
- Admission (2013) as John
- The Little Prince (2015) as Mr. Prince (voice)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2015 — present) as Scott Lang / Ant-Man:
- The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) as Ben
- Sausage Party (2016) as Darren (voice)
- Nerdland (2016) as John
- The Catcher Was a Spy (2018) as Moe Berg
- A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018) as Lawrence Larry Kroger
- Mute (2018) as Cactus Bill
- Ideal Home (2018) as Paul Morgan
- Living With Yourself (2019) as Miles Elliot and his clone
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) as Mr. Grooberson
- Reads the audiobook version of More Information Than You Require... but is quickly taken over by John Hodgman.
His career provides examples of:
- Acting for Two: He plays both Miles Elliot and his clone in Living With Yourself.
- The Cast Showoff: He's a fantastic dancer, and directors like to work it into the film if they can.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Like the other MCU leading men before him, he got absolutely ripped in order to play Scott Lang in Ant-Man. The costumers had to actually remove a lot of the padding in the Ant-Man suit because he got muscular enough, after the initial fitting, for the definition to naturally show without the need for fake musculature.
- In Name Only: His adaptation of Admission appears to be a Rom Com with some gross-out humor. The novel it is based on is fairly dramatic with a romantic subplot. Half the scenes in the trailer do not appear in the novel, and an entire subplot seems to have disappeared. The trailer also leaves off the main plot of the novel, which is not terrible since the novel doesn't really get to that plot until 400 pages in.
- Meme Acknowledgement: He is well aware of the famous meme of Mark Ruffalo fanboying over him when he saw Rudd and excitedly started mouthing Is that Paul Rudd?. Rudd even recreated the meme by sneaking up behind Ruffalo, who was giving a red carpet interview and mouthed Oh my God, it's Mark Ruffalo!
- He's also referenced the popular crack-theory about Avengers: Endgame, that basically claims Thanos would be defeated by Ant-man crawling inside his ass and expanding.
- A fan spotted Rudd on her flight and tried but failed to muster up the courage to ask him "Hey, look at us. Who would've thought?" to see if he'd respond with "Not me!" and just told him she considered it. She eventually ran into him again to which he responded with "Hey, look at us. Who would've thought?"
- Money, Dear Boy: He's very frank about how he's worked on some poor quality projects, like Over Her Dead Body and Overnight Delivery, because he needed the money. This trope even resulted in him flying to Hong Kong on short notice to play an over-the-top bleached-blond FBI agent in Gen-Y Cops.
- Old Shame: He's not exactly thrilled to talk about some of his older projects, such as Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers.
- Older Than They Look: As of 2019, he's in his 50s, and there are several memes going around that he has never aged since the 1990s. By comparison, his MCU co-star Josh Brolin is only one year older than him.
- Overly Long Gag: The infamous "Mac and Me Conan Bit", as described below. For those keeping track, this joke has been ongoing for fifteen years.
- Playing Against Type:
- He normally does comedies, so nobody knew how he could pull off a superhero in Ant-Man. He was actually very good at it. Though while the genre may be different, the character is still close enough to what he's used to.
- He starred in the original run of Bash playing a Jerk Jock who beat a gay man to death For the Evulz.
- Production Posse: Has the distinction, along with Elizabeth Banks and Ken Jeong, of being in both the Judd Apatow and David Wain posses.
- Running Gag: Whenever he promoted a movie on on Late Night with Conan O'Brien or on Conan (post-2010), he'd replace the clip of the movie he's supposed to be promoting with the runaway wheelchair scene from Mac and Me. He did this so often that Conan would ask him not to, he would earnestly promise that he hadn't this time, and then...
- Star-Making Role: I Love You, Man as a leading man. He was known previously for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
- Those Two Actors: He's been in several movies with Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Segel, and Janeane Garofalo.
- What Could Have Been: He and his Anchorman and 40-Year-Old Virgin castmate Steve Carell were originally slated to star in Party Down, but after the project was shelved multiple times and both of their careers exploded, the roles were eventually recast.
- Written by Cast Member: He co-wrote Role Models and did re-writes on Ant-Man.