Let me tell you a little story, about a girl who watched Clueless and fell in love with Josh, a.k.a. Paul Rudd. Never in her wildest dreams did she think one day she would be sitting across a table from him having a conversation. Fast forward and this 90s kid might have been totally buggin’ out that he was on the interview list for the #AntManAndTheWaspEvent.
I was invited by Disney and Marvel to attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp press trip. All opinions are my own.
Ant-Man and The Wasp Paul Rudd Interview
I wasn’t the only one either. Evangeline Lilly and Hannah John-Kamen both mentioned Paul in Clueless. Plus almost everyone on the trip had their own favorite Paul Rudd moments. Because, how can you not?
So you could say we were all very excited when he walked in the room. Which in turn, got him pumped for our interview. He joked that after our big welcome, he didn’t need any coffee. That was enough!
Sequels can be a lot of fun. I’ve been waiting for this one since the credits rolled on the first. Mostly to see Hope kick some *ss in The Wasp suit. And secondly to see Paul back in one of my favorite roles of his since Clueless. Paul shared what it felt like coming back and what he thinks of the film.
It’s great, it’s, it’s always a strange thing when it’s coming out. You put so much work for so long into something that to know that people are seeing it and that it’s finally finished is a unique feeling. And it’s exciting. It’s exciting when you like the finished product. Because you can talk about it and you don’t have to manufacture enthusiasm. The filming of it, the experience of it, has been nothing but fun, hard work but really enjoyable.
The original Ant-Man is one of the funniest movies in the MCU. There was a lot of playing around with the characters for the first film, trying to figure out how funny or serious they should be. Was it harder the second time around coming up with a script that was both funny and endearing?
No I think in a way it was the opposite. Because it had already been established. People know the characters and accept us in the roles, I think. And because of that we were able to lean into comedy or lean into whatever it is we were doing a little bit more, we didn’t have to explain it, we just thought people will go along with this. And also, certainly with the Scott Lang role, I’ve already now been in Civil War.
And in Civil War, the Russo Brothers really wanted to lean into the comedy of it. 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. (Laughter) So I think everyone was finding their footing a little bit and in this one we kind of hit the ground running.
In my spoiler-free Ant-Man and The Wasp movie review, I shared that one of the reasons I love the Ant-Man franchise is that it is about family. I would even argue that this film is more family-oriented than the previous one. Paul and the rest of the crew were intentional about creating a family-friendly movie.
We feel that we have our own kind of space within this Marvel cinematic universe and our own tone with the films. 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 and so we wanted to make a movie that was enjoyable for lots of people. 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. We were trying to do a lot. (Laughter)
Ant-Man and The Wasp has a lot of positive representation in it. Not only did we see the father/daughter relationship between Scott and Cassie and Hope and Hank, but also his blended family, a team-up, and more. Paul had nothing but praise for these aspects of the film and even let slip he thinks The Wasp is better suited for the job of hero.
Well it’s great being in a film costarring with Evangeline, that it’s a duo. And actually the female character I think is the one who’s really better suited for the job, in all honesty. It’s the 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, like we all get along really well. (Laughs)
It takes a village. (Laughter) That stuff is important and yeah we put a lot of thought into it and it’s nice to be a part of something like that.
You might think it was Paul’s never aging face that had us all gushing over him, but actually it was how he shared what special something he does for his daughter in these movies. But not before he praised the work of his on-screen daughter Abby.
Abby is very talented. She’s a really good actress and a good kid. 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.
As far as my character doing a scene with a girl playing my daughter, it’s not far off. My daughter is a little bit younger but not much. 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’re the real Cassie. (Aww) I know! And I do little things in the movie that are little things for her. (Aww)
Joining the cast of Ant-Man is the legendary Michelle Pfeiffer. Paul worked with her years ago and he was excited to be reunited on the set of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
I mean she’s the best. (Laughs) She’s so nice and she’s just a really lovely person. I’ve worked with her before and it was great because I hadn’t seen her in a while and she is a very, very sweet person. Very smart. Very funny in ways I think people might not know. She’s very wry and she’s got a real stealthy cool sense of humor, I find.
All the co-stars of Paul Rudd had nothing but great things to say about him. The Ant-Man and The Wasp love fest is mutual.
Well Hannah I met on this film and she’s really, really talented. I had seen her in other things and I thought she is really good. And very, very cool, just cool. She’s great.
And as far as Michael, I love him so much, you know. It’s such a thrill when you get to work with legends and certainly he and Michelle and Laurence Fishburne, I feel like oh they’re making this legitimate.
I mean they’re icons. You can do anything with Michael Douglas and it just has gravitas. And he’s been in so many films that I’ve loved for so long, all of us really. And I’ve said as much as I admire and appreciate him as an actor, I have now come to admire and appreciate and love him even more as a guy, as a friend. And when he’s on set, he’s just he’s just so kind of funny and easy going.
We’ve gotten to the point now where we can talk about life things, not just script stuff and movie stuff and instead, world events and sports and families, we talk a lot about our kids. I feel like we’ve become friends which is still baffling to me, that I can say he would be a friend. I just really, really love the guy.
When the movie picks up, Scott only has a little bit of time left on his house arrest. This was his punishment for taking part in Captain America Civil War. You can imagine being stuck in the house day after day can get a little, well boring. And all parents know how stir crazy kids can get if they can’t go outside. This means it’s time to get creative at the Lang household.
From creating a massive slide, bouncing a basketball just right, to magic tricks, Scott upped his game to keep his daughter entertained. Special effects or multiple takes? Paul gave us the inside scoop.
The sliding down the slide took a lot longer than the basketball. People say what kind of special effects do you use with that? And I say well, if we make that basket, that’s special effects. (Laughs)
I really did learn some of the magic. I haven’t really kept it up. But then again, trying to learn to be really good at magic in a short amount of time is like trying to learn violin in a short amount of time.
We did it (sliding down the slide) in chunks. We had to do the down the stairs in one chunk, and it was really fun and we really were doing it. But the toboggan scenes were a blast. Normally you have to shoot scenes several times and it can get a little tedious, but with the toboggan that didn’t happen. It was like let’s do it again!! (Laughter)
Not only did Paul work alongside Michelle Pfeiffer but he also portrayed her. Which isn’t new in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anthony Hopkins acted like Tom Hiddleston acting like Anthony Hopkins, and Chris Evans acted like Tom Hiddleston acting like Chris Evans.
I know people ask me, how much did I study Michelle Pfeiffer? (Laughter) I’m sure throughout my life I have subconsciously studied Michelle Pfeiffer. (Laughter) There was a certain point where I said well this might just get creepy. “No go ahead, just go about your day Michelle, I’m just observing you.” (Laughter) And but yeah we kept referring to that as the All Of Me scene. (Laughter)
Okay, seriously that post credit scene was insane. We had such a good run in the movie and then bam! We are hit with some serious, Infinity War heavy stuff. What was the casts’ reaction to this moment?
Because I was giddy in a way, imagining this movie, which is funny and ends on this kind of uplifting amazing moment. And then you’re going to see a few names. (Laughs)
And then WOAH! Wait a minute! (Laughter) It is this shocking kind of punch to the gut. I was imagining reactions to it and still am. I’ll be honest, I only saw this for the first time two nights ago. And it was in a little small kind of screening room with Evangeline, Hannah, Laurence Fishburne and just a couple other people.
And Laurence didn’t know it was coming. (Ohh!) And when it happened, he just went OH!!! (Laughter) And even Evangeline and I who knew it was coming, it was like wow. This was really cool. And also knowing it was coming before Infinity War came out.
It was really exciting. It’s knowing a secret that you know is going to really land when people see it.
From start to finish, Paul was the sweetest guy ever. I was only bummed when the interview was over!
See Paul as Ant-Man when Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters everywhere July 6th 2018! Tickets are on sale now!
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