Spotlight by: Andrea Tuccillo
Paul Rudd is a bit of a mystery. He’s got serious thespian chops (acting on stage alongside Julia Roberts in the play Three Days of Rain), leading man good looks (the kind of crystal blue eyes and dark wavy hair that made Alicia Silverstone swoon in Clueless), yet he’s also got the funny, quick-witted flair of a seasoned comedian (showcased in films such as Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin). It is perhaps a mixture of these qualities which led him to a role in his latest film Diggers, a poignant film about a group of Long Island pals struggling to make a living in the declining clam digging industry in the 1970′s. The role of the soul-searching clam digger named Hunt requires a delicate balance of humor and inward reflectionâ€”a balance at which Rudd succeeds.
Hunt works his dead-end job as a clam digger but also harbors a hidden interest in photography, slinging his Polaroid camera with him wherever he goes. When his father dies suddenly, he is forced to reevaluate his life. A relationship with a quirky city-girl (Lauren Ambrose) ultimately motivates him to leave his small town and make something more of himself.
According to actor Ken Marino, who wrote and co-stars in the film, Rudd was the only person he had in mind to play Hunt. Marino and Rudd have known each other for seven years and Marino credits Rudd with having the ability to say a lot without actually saying anything at all. As Marino says, he needed the ability to show that “there’s something else inside him that needs to go somewhere.”
“When Ken gave me the script he said read it, take a look at Hunt,” says Rudd. “So I never even thought about playing another character.”
He embodies the restless character with ease, a fact which he also credits with filming on location in New York. “You’re just surrounded by
Diggers also possesses a laidback ’70′s vibe, thanks in part to subtle costuming and references. “I think it feels and looks more authentically ’70s then some other films that really try and embrace thatâ€”I wouldn’t know I was born in ’88 so I don’t remember,” Rudd says jokingly. “But like in all the research that I did – I interviewed my parents.”
Rudd definitely has a knack for jokes and sarcasm, a trait that he no doubt brought to the set when filming got tough. “It was difficult at times and it was also in the middle of a heat wave,” says Rudd. “So we’re all wearing rubber overalls or woolâ€”all the clothing was pretty authenticâ€”and so a lot of it was wool and it was over 100 degrees.”
His friendly rapport with Marino and many other members of the cast, including Josh Hamilton, provided for a genuine and respectful atmosphere. According to Marino, all of the actors bonded and came together for the good of the movie. Rudd agrees. “We all had a love for this script, we all the loved the movie,” he says.
He loved the script so much in fact, that there were hardly any improvisations. Everyone stuck to the words as written. “A lot of it was just we liked the script so there wasn’t really a need to change a lot of the dialogue,” says Rudd. “It also wasn’t that kind of film where you shoot it as written and then just go off and do whatever you want and then shoot a lotâ€”we didn’t have the time.”
Next up Rudd re-teams with Marino for the new independent comedy The Ten, which features stories based on the Ten Commandments. Rudd plays Jeff, the movie’s host who must deal with a crumbling marriage and some moral dilemmas of his own.
With his career on the