He’s known as one of Hollywood’s go-to funny guys, but was Paul Rudd famous before his brief appearance in Friends?
Paul Rudd wasn’t the biggest name in Hollywood before his appearance in Friends, but he was considerably famous. He’d appeared in some fairly sizable productions, such as the cult classic Halloween, and Romeo + Juliet.
Read on to learn more about the early acting years of funnyman Paul Rudd.
Mr. Nice Guy
Paul Rudd has long been referred to as the nicest guy in Hollywood. In the years he’s spent on the big screen, he’s acquired a reputation as Mr. Nice Guy. This is in part due to the characters he portrays – he’s simply never been anything but a good guy.
The roles bestowed upon Rudd have always been comedic, and light-hearted. While he made one of his earliest appearances in a cult classic horror film, he hasn’t really revisited the genre since. Instead, he’s opted to follow a path of humor, to great reception and success.
When Rudd landed a part in the world-famous sitcom, Friends, it catapulted his career. In total, he appeared in eighteen episodes, playing the beloved supporting role of Mike Hannigan. In the show, Rudd’s character is easy-going, lovable, and riddled with humor. He befriends – and then enters a relationship with and marries – ditzy blonde, Phoebe Buffay.
After the success of the temporary placement in Friends, Rudd began acting in movies in earnest. He formed what would ultimately be a professional pairing with director Judd Apatow. Together, they worked on several movies, such as Anchorman, 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Knocked Up.
These movies proved to be a boon for Rudd, furthering his comedic career. Although leaning towards the funny side of things, Rudd has proven himself to be a versatile actor. He’s portrayed some serious roles in his time. In 2007, he portrayed John Lennon, and in 2008, he mastered the role of a drug addict.
In 2013, barely ten years after his eighteen-part appearance in Friends, Rudd really hit it big. He was cast as a character in the prestigious Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was set to play Ant-Man, a pivotal character in the Universe’s storyline. The first film starring Rudd as Ant-Man premiered in 2015.
This role was reprised on two further occasions as the MCU played out. First, in Captain America: Civil War, and again in Avengers: Endgame. In the latter role, Rudd received considerable screen time, given as it was his character that ultimately ‘saved the universe’
You can see a trailer for the original Ant-Man movie, starring Rudd, on YouTube below.
The Secret Side
There are many mysteries to Paul Rudd. Most considerably so is the secret behind his ‘eternal youth’. It’s been a subject of debate in the media and on the internet for years: Paul Rudd doesn’t age. He has retained a remarkably youthful appearance as he’s got older, and in 2020, at 50, still looked young.
In a 2011 interview, fellow comedian and friend Jon Hamm claimed it was, “all that crazy virgin blood he’s drinking.” However, in a 2019 article, Paul Rudd gave up the secrets on his ever-youthful visage. He joked, “I’m 80 years old on the inside.” He then pointed to his chest and said, “In here, pure darkness… And a little moisturizer.”
It’s likely this constant referencing to his youthful looks has been tiring for Rudd. He gave an interview in the New York Times in 2018, with the interviewer questioning his looks. Paul Rudd simply responded by saying, “I’m aware. There’s nothing really to say about it.”
On the outside, Rudd is the picture of health and humor. On the inside, however, he’s no stranger to the struggles that plague everyone in the world. In a 2019 article, Rudd explained, “In private, I’m dealing with all the scars and traumas of real life.”
He opened up, explaining that comedy was a difficult thing to handle in the modern climate.
“It was all too easy to massively offend people or particular groups of people. It was difficult to circumnavigate all the potential interpretations of comedy.”
Rudd also detailed how he enjoyed keeping his personal and professional lives separate where possible. He has mostly avoided revealing too many gory details of his private life to the media. It’s written that he has lived quite an ‘un-Hollywood’ life. Regardless, he still remains one of the most popular actors in the business, and likely will be so for some time.