Last year, while Ant-Man and the Wasp was completing filming, I got to step foot on the expansive Pinewood Studios lot and interview some of the cast of the film including my long-time crush, Paul Rudd. He’s Marvel’s resident nice guy with boyish charm to match his seemingly ageless features.
Where Ant-Man and the Wasp Fit In The MCU
“We start [Ant-Man and the Wasp] after Civil War has already happened…,” Rudd said, smiling, careful not to reveal too much.
When I interviewed him last year, Avengers: Infinity War was far from its theatrical release, so care had to be taken by the cast not to reveal too much about how this sequel effects that Infinity War. It should be noted that certain hints towards future storylines were revealed to us, as well, during our set visit so we had to keep our mouths shut over the past 6 months.
“As a result, I have been put under house arrest,” Rudd added about his character. “So, I’m just kind of living in my house. Hank and Hope are on the run because my being there alerted the authorities to their presence. We’re not really on speaking terms.
“The movie starts with just a couple of days left in my punishment and I don’t really think this superhero business is for me. It just gets in the way of what I really want to do.”
That statement from Rudd offers an overview of the landscape that is Ant-Man and the Wasp; Scott Lang (Rudd) must figure out how to figure out a way to continue as a superhero (or whether he should continue at all) while under forced house arrest, all while Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) are on the run from the authorities.
Ah, if only the premise were that simple. It never really is, especially when it comes to Marvel films. Especially Marvel films that play such a pivotal role in the MCU.
The Return of the ANTourage
Much of the comic relief in the first Ant-Man film was courtesy of Michael Peña as Luis, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, and rapper T.I. as Dave – collectively referred to by many as the ANTourage.
“I want to start this business with Michael Peña’s character, Luis – X-Con Security – and go the straight and narrow, just be a father. That’s my main concern,” Rudd said, though he admits Scott Lang isn’t completely in love with the concept of the business.
“This character wants to be a good parent. He has a daughter that he wants to be there for, but it’s very hard to have this kind of ‘job’ and feel as if you’re being a good parent, being responsible, and so Scott is the kind of character that might be at odds with what’s good for not just his daughter, but other people that he cares about. Doing what’s good, being heroic, and finding his place in the world while simultaneously being a responsible parent.”
Rudd recognizes that, while not all of us are actually superheroes, parents try to contribute in some way to the good in the world while being there for our families.
Superhero Costumes and Dave Bautista
“[The costume] has changed. It’s a bit more updated,” Rudd confirmed. “In the first Ant-Man, the costume was supposed to look as if it was built in the 80s. It was scuffed up and had some analog qualities to it. They changed it for Civil War, but now I think it’s a mix of those two suits.”
Rudd said that when he wears the suit, he feels very much like a superhero.
“They’re very flattering,” he laughed. “But they’re not the most comfortable things in the world.”
In fact, Rudd shared with us, he met Dave Bautista (who plays Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy) for the first time recently. Bautista asked about the comfort of the costume that Rudd has worn in 3 Marvel films so far.
“I thought, I don’t think I’m going to complain about my suit to you, who clearly has to sit in a makeup chair for hours on end.”
Paul Rudd on His Boyish Good Looks
One can’t interview Paul Rudd without commenting on the fact that he seems ageless. So, we asked him his secret – why doesn’t he age?
“I do,” he laughed. “I beg to differ!” He sat there for a moment, the classic Rudd smile stretched across his face while we disagreed with him.
At this moment, I truly believe that there are few people in the world that could find this man completely irresistible…. eh, hem. Sorry, back to the interview.
Paul Rudd on Kelly Clarkson And Ad Libbing
“I really think that Kelly Clarkson [line in the film] might have been Seth Rogan,” he said, laughing in reference to his film, The 40-year-old Virgin. “We all yelled things out and were coming up with other lines, but I think it might have been Seth or it might have been Steve (Carell). It wasn’t me! I know this because I thought it was the funniest joke. I wish that I had written it!”
Rudd has been traditionally known as an actor great with ad libbing some of his lines, usually in comedies, so we wondered if any of that had carried over onto the set of Ant-Man.
“We sometimes veer from [the script] a little bit,” he said, “but always on point with what the scene is about.”
Rudd says that sometimes in a film, ad libbing lines can yield something good but a lot of times, it’s just a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re going to say. He wasn’t sure, at this point, if any ad libs have made it into Ant-Man and the Wasp because they just wrapped filming and he can’t be sure what will make it past the cutting room floor.
“It’s weird. You never know if it will be used. I’ve certainly done that in the past,” he said. “I’ve made jokes or thrown things in and all of a sudden, you hear people say it out in the world, or see it printed on items, and you’re like ‘what?!’. That’s an all-powerful feeling.”
Ant-Man’s Realistic Sets
“These sets, these labs – we shot in a lab that looked… we’re in these locations and they build these locations that look exactly like these pictures,” he said in amazement, looking to set blueprints hanging on the wall behind us.
“This, to me, is the most amazing thing. It’s crazy, the talent that the set designers and builders and artists have,” Rudd said. “I’m a grown man, riding around on an ant. It’s all silly, but it’s great and a lot of fun.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp will feature a ton of hidden gems, we can promise that. That’s because this time around, Pym’s lab is shrinkable and portable and was built using common household items. Expect to see things like LEGOs, this volume control knob, giant safety pins, and more when the film opens this July.