I first met Paul Rudd in New York City.
He was hanging out with an eccentric girl by the name of Phoebe, who liked to sing about smelly cats while drinking coffee at a little cafe called Central Perk.
Fast forward a few years and Paul Rudd has not only added to the list of television shows under his belt, but he’s become a top-notch movie star at that. Not just any movie star though – a Marvel superhero!
Of course I’m talking about Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd – living large with Ant-Man and The Wasp, the much anticipated Marvel film following on the heels of Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters July 6th. I have seen the movie and it is insanely good. You must read my Ant-Man and The Wasp spoiler free review to know exactly what to do BEFORE you head into the theater and OUT OF the theater. Trust me, you need to know!
(Disney, Marvel Studios, Freeform & Disney Junior invited me to California on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for our coverage of events. As always, all opinions are my own.)
Paul Rudd – Living Large with Ant-Man and The Wasp
The group of us Disney bloggers had been enjoying the morning interviewing so many of the cast at a beautiful hotel just outside Los Angeles. There wasn’t an interview that we weren’t looking forward to, but I’ll be honest, there was a bit of extra excitement in the air when this man walked in.
Funny thing, though, is that we totally and completely surprised this man. We weren’t exactly your ordinary group of journalists, as we applauded like crazy when he walked in.
Paul Rudd, green eyes in awe, said, “Gosh, I haven’t even started…my heart is racing”.
Rudd didn’t miss a beat, and sat down quickly noticing details about those of us about to ask him questions. He noticed someone’s Marvel shirt. He had scanned the room and noticed how many of the bloggers had different hair colors – bright colors like pink, blue, and green. He made each and every one of us feel like we were really present and important. I liked Paul Rudd right away.
The Real Deal
Having met many celebrities over the years, there are a few scenarios that can happen.
- You can be incredibly disappointed in meeting them personally, so much so that you really wish you hadn’t met them and had your preconceived notions ruined.
- You can be incredibly satisfied with some celebrities, when they really turn out to be just what you thought they would be.
- Then there are others, who are so genuine and down to earth, that you feel like you could hang out and be buddies. They are far more than you could have imagined.
That’s what it was like with Paul Rudd. He was that guy you would meet for coffee at Central Perk in New York City. He’s that dad who would chat with you at the school’s PTA meeting (not that I know he attends meetings, I’m just guessing here). He was the real deal.
Maybe that’s what I liked about him most. He’s just a regular guy (and husband and father of two) with an incredibly cool job. Did I mention that he not only stars in Ant-Man and The Wasp, but he co-wrote the script? Yes, he’s that talented.
His Own Type of SuperHero
It’s also what I love about his superhero character, Ant-Man. You see he’s not Iron Man. He’s not Star-Lord. And Scott Lang is certainly no Thor from Asgard.
Is he the superhero or is it his suit, really? Because when I look at Scott Lang, I see a husband who has lost a wife, yet found new direction. I see a father who is determined to be everything for his little girl Cassie. I see a man who has spent time in prison, one who has to deal with the consequences of horrible choices (and when Ant-Man and The Wasp begins, he is still on house arrest).
I don’t automatically see a superhero. I see someone who is incredibly human and so relatable.
Having the Time of His Life
As he sat down you could tell he had really had the time of his life with Ant-Man and The Wasp.
He was proud of the film, both as an actor and a writer, and said, “It’s exciting when you like the finished product because you can talk about it and you don’t have to manufacture enthusiasm”.
Enthusiasm exuded from him. It was real. Authentic. From the filming to the promotion (and I dare say his interview with us), Paul Rudd was having fun. He made no mistake telling us that it was hard work, but fun and enjoyable work.
There’s no doubt that the Marvel universe is full of superheroes and movies (and we want to keep them coming), but some of them aren’t as easy to take young children to. A little language here or sexual innuendo there, and parents second guess whether they should take the kids.
PRO TIP: Read my Ant-Man and The Wasp spoiler free review as I talk about what you want to know as a parent – language, scariness factor, etc.
Paul Rudd talked specifically about this in regards to Ant-Man and the Wasp, saying, “We feel that we have our own kind of space within this Marvel cinematic universe and our own tone with the films. And while we want it to work within the universe and want it to be enjoyable for all ages – we’re dealing with parents and children. This is a theme that runs throughout this story. And a lot of kids want to see these movies and sometimes there’s
some scary things in them. Or there’s some violent things in them that might be a little too intense and- and so we wanted to make a movie that was enjoyable for lots of people”.
I’m so glad they did!
Paul Rudd made clear that it wasn’t just family-friendliness that was important to them. He added, “We wanted it to be funny, but we also wanted it to be engaging and moving in some way. We wanted it to be visually stunning, even more than the first one. And we wanted the action and the effects to be bigger and better. So we were trying- we were trying to do a lot”.
They succeeded. It is hilarious, with Paul Rudd stealing many scenes with great lines.
It is visually stunning, especially when dealing with new character, “Ghost”, and the Quantum Realm.
And the action? Well, you will have to see for yourself, but between incredible car scenes and a kitchen scene that is one of a kind, I think you will approve.
The Wasp – Finally!
It is clear from talking to Rudd that he simply adores Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope Van Dyne, aka “The Wasp”. Whether they are smiling in press interviews or on the red carpet, they are a team – they really are “Ant-Man and The Wasp”!
Rudd mentioned to us, “Actually the female character I think is the one who’s really better suited for the job, in all honesty. She’s born into it, it’s a family business”.
In other words, it’s about time we see The Wasp suit up! And we do – we have an incredible female superhero for our sons and daughters to look up to, but we also have a milestone here – the first female superhero in a Marvel film title. It’s pretty clear that Scott Lang (and Paul Rudd) don’t mind sharing the spotlight.
Not only is Paul Rudd proud of the female empowerment element to the film, but also the diversity of the cast.
New faces show up in the film (hello Laurence Fishburne), as well as returning characters.
Though it might bring a few laughs to the big screen how much Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and his ex-wife and her new husband love to hug, Rudd is serious about how important it is to see that on the big screen.
He added, “I love the fact that it is an extended family, that my ex wife and her new husband – we all get along really well. It takes a village”.
Who is the Real Cassie? You Might Be Surprised!
Paul Rudd talks fondly of young actress Abby Ryder Fortson, who plays his daughter Cassie in both the original film and Ant-Man and The Wasp. It was their second time working together so there definitely was a bond and trust level.
Playing “dad” to a little girl came easy to Rudd, saying, “As far as my character doing a scene with a girl playing my daughter- it’s not far off. My daughter is a little bit younger but not much. And those kinds of scenes are accessible to me because I’ve been in them, I know what that’s like”.
Here’s where Paul Rudd won our hearts. He shared, “When my daughter is old enough and she sees this movie, she’s going to see me playing dad to a little girl. I tell her, you know, you’re the real Cassie”. There was an audible “awwwww” from us all. Dad of the year right there.
That’s not all. He does little things in the movie that are just for his daughter.
Superhero after all.
Working with Michelle Pfeiffer
As if his name in the acting world isn’t big enough, Paul Rudd talked about how fellow castmates Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, and Michelle Pfeiffer are “making this legitimate”. They are icons in his eyes. I think he’s missing that he is in ours too.
Rudd shared some scoop on Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Janet Van Dyne, Hope’s mother who might be alive somewhere in the Quantum Realm.
He said, “I’ve worked with her before and this was great because I hadn’t seen her in a while and she was a very sweet person. Very smart. Very funny in ways I think people might not know. She’s very wry and she’s got a real stealthy cool sense of humor, I find”.
Friends with Michael Douglas?
It’s true. And it still shocks Paul Rudd.
Talking about Douglas, Rudd shared, “He’s been in so many films that I’ve loved for so long, all of us really. And I’ve said as much as I admire and appreciate him as an actor, I have now come to admire and appreciate and love him even more as a guy, as a friend. And when he’s on set, he’s just so kind of funny and easy going”.
Rudd went on, “We’ve gotten to the point now where we can talk about life things, not just script stuff and movie stuff and instead, world events and sports and families. We talk a lot about our kids. I feel like we’ve become friends – which is still baffling to me, that I can say he would be a friend. But I really love the guy”.
Sliding. Magic. And Fun.
At the beginning of Ant-Man and The Wasp, there is a scene featuring Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie, as Scott is trying to entertain her while he is on house arrest. This is one fun scene to watch, and Paul Rudd mentioned that they didn’t mind having to reshoot the “toboggan” scenes over and over.
From playing the drums to shooting baskets and even performing magic tricks, there are so many fun scenes of Paul Rudd getting to play creative dad!
SCOOP: Paul Rudd really did learn to do magic tricks for the film.
Shhhh! It’s a Secret!
This film is coming on the heels of Avengers: Infinity War and there is so much speculation right now. What I will say is that you need to see Ant-Man and The Wasp with you own eyes and tune out what everyone is saying about spoilers.
What does Paul Rudd say about potential spoilers? He says, “I so want this to remain as secretive as possible for as long as possible”! I agree.
But here’s the thing – there is one thing I will tell you from my interview with Paul Rudd, but only the week after it opens in theaters! On the blog. Marked SPOILER all over it so noone will accidentally see. No worries!
What an interview. One I will never forget.
Now let’s take a look at the film…
Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP opens in theaters everywhere on July 6th!
Blog Posts from #AntManandTheWaspEvent so far:
Stay tuned for more cast and director interviews!
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