Interview By: Rocco Passafuime
Paul Rudd has graced the genre of comedy for almost 15 years now. He made his breakthrough roles as uncool ex-stepbrother Josh in the teen comedy classic Clueless. He had done a steady amount of roles in both comedies and dramas since then, but his career truly picked up when he became part of producer Judd Apatow’s comic circle in a role as Brian Fantana in the 2004 comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Following that, Rudd appeared in supporting roles in many of Judd Apatow’s both produced and directed films including The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. After a turn as both star and co-writer of Role Models, Paul Rudd seeks to secure his place as a potential household name in the world of comedy with his new starring role as groom-to-be Peter Klaven in I Love You, Man.
The now-39-year-old actor first discussed what brought him on board to do I Love You, Man, plus the “special request” Paul required as a condition to do the movie.
“When we met, [writer/director] John [Hamburg] and Jason [Segel]and I, we met for lunch,” Rudd recalls, “We all knew each other, but it was the first timeâ€¦we read the script and we want to make this movie. I thought it was hilarious. I thought it was sophisticated and fresh and funny.”
“And I said, I really said, ‘Just one thing, I really want to throw up,’” he adds, “I thought it was such a funny scene and I thought it would be funny to see actual throw-up, because when you are watching a movie, every time you see like soup in their mouth and it’s never realistic. When you shoot a scene like that, you have to do it ten or fifteen times. You need to do projectile vomit ten or fifteen times.”
I Love You, Man is about the exploits of
“One of the things that I absolutely loved about this script and this movie is the guys that we played are like the guys that I hang out with that are not alpha males and not even based on beta males, not even,” Paul believes.
Another thing Paul claims he loved about the role is he got to play a character who fences.
“I actually fenced before this film,” Rudd reveals, “In fact, the guy who oversaw the fencing in this film was my fencing teacher twenty years ago. Whoa. So en garde that! That was one of my favorites, that locker room talk with fencing terminology.”
Paul also adds that he and co-star Jason Segel completely wore their “bromantic” hearts on their sleeves in their respective characters’ bonding experience over the course of the film.
“The idea of guy who would drink wine and talk about real simple magazines is not so unlike the kind of guy that I am,” he claims, “I’m a heterosexual man, I’m not afraid to show my emotions, Jason is not afraid to show his emotions. The characters can talk to each other. I love that. I love that it wasn’t any kind of generalization. In fact, my brother in the movie, Andy Samberg, he drinks Budweisers in the movie. I don’t know if they were beer. ”
“I think a lot of the guys that I know are just guys,” Rudd continues, “And this whole kind of thing of the macho, locker room kind of talk, my whole life, I never really got that kind of testosteroni kind of energy I don’t really mix well with that. Guys just always wanted to beat me up
When pressed about whether men drinking wine together was considered “unmanly” or not, Rudd was quick to shoot down such a notion.
“I couldn’t disagree more. We love wine,” Paul states.
In fact, Paul even claims he and Segel went on a series of “man dates” to create on-screen chemistry together with their characters. However, the actor was rather skimpy on the details.
“We left separately, which was how most of my dates end,” he claims.
Rudd though did tell us in no uncertain terms that he had a great time with Segel working on the film together both on and off set.
“Oh, my God, he made me laugh so hard,” Paul said, “It was like, snaker brauten, snicker bramen, snucker brumen. I think we settled on, ‘I’ll snake a brame,’ or ‘I’ll snake a beer.’”
One of the highlights of the film is a fight scene between Segel and Lou Ferrigno. Paul shared with us how much he enjoyed working with The Incredible Hulk TV icon and how much Ferrigno was willing to play ball with the comedy in the film.
“There was a huge statue of Lou Ferrigno in his house and a framed pair of ripped-up pants,” he says, “He got the joke, being a man of 450 pounds of muscle. You think he’s concerned with his masculinity? I think he’s got everything under control.”
All in all, Rudd says he’s excited to see the finished product, especially since there apparently was so much improvising going on throughout filming that he probably won’t remember half the comical moments that actually made the film.
“I get really excited to see the movie,” he says, “I always like to see the really first cut. Also, often times, you just don’t remember and the DVD will come out and you go, ‘Oh, yeah! I totally forgot about that!’ 40 years later.”