If actor Paul Rudd has ever wondered what it’s like to be a rock star and walk into a room full of screaming fans, our interview last week might have given him a little taste.
Rudd is not a rock star, but instead an adored actor that walked into a room full of excited fans; 25 bloggers who offered him a standing ovation and a few cheers. In fact, the recording of our interview was deafening the moment he walked into the room.
This is not my first, or even my second, time meeting the Ant-Man and the Wasp star, but I can tell you this – being in the same room with him never gets old.
“Wow! I’m not gonna joke,” Rudd says, shocked, a huge smile across his face, “my reaction was just to immediately join in! My heart is racing!”
He makes his way to the table and single chair placed in front of our group, a smile still spread across his face.
“They asked me if I want coffee,” he said, still recovering from the shock of our overzealous greeting. “I don’t need coffee!”
It never ceases to amaze me how Paul Rudd doesn’t seems to age. He’s still that baby-faced older brother in Clueless and the very obviously responsible camp counselor in Wet Hot American Summer.
“It’s always a strange thing when [the movie] is coming out,” Rudd told us about the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp. “I put so much work for so long into something that to know that people are seeing it and that it’s finally finished – it’s a unique feeling. It’s exciting when you like the finished product because you can talk about it and you don’t have to manufacture enthusiasm.”
What We All Needed After Infinity War
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the Ant-Man level of humor is exactly what we all needed. The film is perfectly equal parts of heart and humor; much like the first Ant-Man film, but I feel the sequel pushes the envelope a little more on both counts. It seems the humor that the Ant-Man films bring is exactly what the MCU needed, too.
“In Civil War, the Russo Brothers really wanted to lean into the comedy of it,” Rudd told us. “During the first Ant-Man, there were many discussions that we all had about where do we modulate this. How serious should Scott be, how funny? Because it’s a super hero and you’re also Ant-Man, it seemed like a strange one to begin with. So, I think everyone was finding their footing a little bit and in this one we kind of hit the ground running.”
A Family-Friendly MCU Film
More so than most of the other Marvel films, Ant-Man and the Wasp is a family friendly cinematic addition to the MCU. Most of the humor is clean, the events not as jolting, and could really be a film for the entire family.
“We feel that we have our own kind of space within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and our own tone with the films,” Rudd said. “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.
“We wanted to make a movie that was enjoyable for lots of people. As well as, 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 to do a lot,” he said, laughing.
How Paul Rudd Really Feels About His Co-Stars
There’s no denying the chemistry that Rudd and co-star Evangeline Lilly have on-screen, especially in the sequel.
“It’s great being in a film co-starring with Evangeline, that it’s a duo,” Rudd said. “And actually, the female character, I think, is the one who’s really better suited for the job, in all honesty. It’s a family business and she’s born into it. That it is multi-cultural, that 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,” he said, laughing. “We put a lot of thought into it and it’s nice to be a part of something like that.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp is also the second film starring actress Abby Ryder-Fortson as his daughter, Cassie. If you read Marvel comics, you might know that Cassie Lang becomes a superhero, wanting to be just like her father when she grew up. Whether or not the MCU takes advantage of this storyline remains to be seen, but the relationship between Cassie and Scott Lang is an important one.
“Abby – the girl who plays Cassie- is very talented,” Rudd said about young actress. “She’s a really good actress and a good kid. It was our second time working together… I think she trusts me, we get on really well. I love working with her and I love doing those scenes with her. I like working with kids because you don’t really know what they’re going to do and you just kind of go off of what they’re doing and if you can establish a relationship outside of the filmmaking, just hanging around set. It can be really fun to film scenes with kids.”
Paul Rudd’s daughter is only 7-years-old and eleventy billion kind of adorable, but we wondered how odd it was for her to watch Rudd play daddy to someone else.
“As far as my character doing a scene with a girl playing my daughter, it’s not far off,” Rudd said. “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. It’s one of my favorite things because I share that with my own daughter. And she loves it. At first when she was very young, I used to think, is it going to be weird.
“When my daughter is old enough and she sees this movie, that she’s going to see me playing dad to a little girl. And instead, it’s the opposite. I think she really loves it, because I tell her, you know, you’re the real Cassie. And I do little things in the movie that are little things for her.”
“I mean she’s the best,” Rudd said about co-star Michelle Pfeiffer. “She’s so nice and she’s just a really lovely person. I’ve worked with her before … I hadn’t seen her in a while and she was a very, very sweet person. Very smart. Very funny in ways I think people might not know. Yeah, she’s very wry and she’s got a real stealthy, cool sense of humor, I find.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in theaters on July 6!
What are you hoping to see as part of the mid- or after-credit scenes?