Charmingly Awkward Paul Rudd
Friday, December 07, 2012
Describe Paul Rudd in one word: “charming,” right? He’s not so sure. "I would say there's been a very ‘awkward’ thread through a lot of the stuff that I've done recently,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “And that's because that's the way I feel many times throughout my day." Rudd returns to the role of awkward father and husband later this month in Judd Apatow’s This is 40, a quasi-sequel to Knocked Up, but he’s taking on a less familiar character on Broadway now.
In Grace, Rudd plays an evangelical businessman who wants to start a chain of Christian-themed motels. There are laughs, but it’s mostly dark and at times difficult. “I would like to do more dramatic stuff,” he tells Kurt, but the actor is willing to wait for the right roles to come his way. “I don’t want to map it out like, OK, I’ve just done a comedy, now I’m going to really shake it up and play my serial killer role.”
Acting for the stage and screen really aren’t that different; “It’s all still a big lie,” he jokes, but on stage “you have to stay in it longer. And there isn’t a safety net.” In movies, “if something happens, and I don’t feel like incorporating it into the scene, I can just be like, ‘Let’s cut and let’s do it again.’”
Kurt wonders how Rudd, who’s from a suburb of Kansas City, fell in love with acting. "Growing up Jewish, with parents from another country, and then also having a sister who was born a couple years after me," Rudd says, "I think all of that stuff probably set the table for a career in attention getting."
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