Paul Rudd is a famous Hollywood actor whose career has spanned over twenty years, from playing the leading man in romcoms to comedy films to most recently starring in blockbuster Marvel movies. So what color eyes does he have?
Paul Rudd, known for starring in films from Clueless (1995) to Ant-Man (2015), has green eyes. He has Ashkenazi Jewish heritage from both of his parents, which may be the origin of their hazel-green color.
Green eyes are among the rarest in humans. They come with all kinds of different connotations and cultural assumptions.
Origin of Green Eyes
Green eyes are relatively rare among humans, with only 2% of the overall global population having them. The most common color is brown. The highest concentration of people with green eyes is in Northern, Central, and Western Europe, often among people with Celtic or Germanic ancestry.
Eye color is determined by the amount of pigment within the iris and how the light scatters around the iris. In basic terms, those with the most melanin have brown eyes, and those with the least have blue. But the eye color spectrum can also contain amber, hazel, grey, and green, or even red and violet in those with albinism.
The green color is created by the presence of a small amount of melanin in the iris and a yellowish pigment called lipochrome. Green eyes are a dominant trait, at least over blue eyes, which are always recessive. They are, however, in turn, recessive to brown eyes which are always dominant.
Rudd appears to have green eyes with a hint of hazel, which suggests he has a little more melanin in his irises.
Green Eyes in Myth and Culture
The most famous connotation of green eyes is that of jealousy. Shakespeare’s “green-eyed monster”:
“O beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” – Othello, William Shakespeare, 1603.
This was not the first time Shakespeare used green eyes to infer jealousy, either. He also references them in The Merchant of Venice.
“How all the other passions fleet to air, as doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair, and shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy!”
It isn’t known why jealousy would be considered to have green eyes, but it’s thought that the idea comes from the idea that a person’s skin turns a yellow or green color when they are sick or the fact that berries, when still green, will make you ill.
Thankfully this sentiment is not usually applied to people who have green eyes. However, some hold the idea that those with green eyes share a strong connection with nature, perhaps due to the prevalence of shades of green within nature itself.
Green eyes are also considered one of the most attractive, according to a poll by AllAboutVision. Of 66,000 votes, 20% considered green the most attractive color.
Green-eyed people do share some similar traits, though not a tendency to jealousy, according to ophthalmologist and researcher Hamadi Kallel: “[They] have an air of mystery and a quiet self-sufficiency. [They are] often unpredictable, but slow to anger. They are original, creative and perform well under great pressure.”
Several musicians have immortalized green eyes in their songs, too. Whether it is Ultrabeat’s “Pretty Green Eyes” or “Green Eyes” by Coldplay. Something about the eye color seems to inspire them.
Rudd’s Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage
While the source of eye color is not always possible to determine via genetics, a look at Paul Rudd’s heritage might give some clues. His late father, Michael Rudd, and his mother, Gloria Irene Granville, are both originally from London, England. Both are descended from Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Belarus, Poland, and Russia.
There is a phenomenon known as “Ashkenazi Eyes” among people from this background, which are eyes of a hazel-green color. Julie Iny describes this in her essay “Ashkenazi Eyes” in the book The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage:
Rudd’s eyes have a hazel-green color too, which could arguably stem from his Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
No matter the source of his eye color, his green eyes certainly helped his career playing the romantic lead in many 1990s and early 2000s films such as Clueless, Overnight Delivery (1998), The Object Of My Affection (1998), and more.