Interview: Paul Rudd the Dad-In-Chief of ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Paul Rudd. “It’s Phoebe’s boyfriend!” my wife shrieked. “It’s Bobby Newport!” my kids yelled. “It’s Josh from Clueless!, and he looks exactly the same!” actor Hannah John-Kamen exclaimed. It’s Ant-Man! Paul Rudd is all those things, but above all else, he’s a dad. When we sat down to talk with Paul Rudd and his co-stars during the #AntManAndTheWaspEvent in Los Angeles, and everyone said what a sweet guy he was. Well, except Paul, he didn’t say that, it came across in his words and delivery.  Continue reading to find out Paul Rudd’s approach to Ant-Man, family, and being Marvel’s Dad-In-Chief.

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang / Ant-Man”) Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Two-time Academy Award winner Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym) called Paul Rudd a sweet guy, and loved watching how he handles the leading role.  British actress Hannah John-Kamen admitted to having a fan-girl moment first seeing Paul Rudd, and Evangeline Lilly (Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp) had no interest in acting in a super hero until she heard Paul Rudd was the lead.  Producer Stephen Broussard said, “he [Rudd] is so naturally funny and likable in everything that he brings to the character.” It was the same during our interview.  Paul Rudd was taken aback when we cheered his entrance, and his only response was to join in and applaud us in return.

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) ©Marvel Studios 2018

Ant-Man fits Paul Rudd’s weird sense of humor. Paul Rudd elaborated, “The comedic aspect had already been established in Ant-Man, so we could lean into the comedy a little bit more and didn’t have to explain it. The first Ant-Man there were many discussions about how serious or how funny do we need to be? It’s a super-hero, but it’s Ant-Man too.” Implying, how serious can you take a super-hero named Ant-Man?  Rudd was quick to add he loves bringing Ant-Man back, “it’s exciting when you like the finished product, you don’t have to manufacture enthusiasm.”

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) ©Marvel Studios 2018

When it came to stepping back into the shoes of the reluctant super hero facing the unimaginable, Paul Rudd took on a singular approach. “One of the things that I really like about playing this character is that Scott is thrown into these extraordinary circumstances of shrinking and flying around on ants and dealing with life-threatening situations,” says Rudd. “I’ve always tried to sustain his way of dealing with everything with a sense of humor and a carefree attitude. I think it gives an audience a fun ride to see somebody like Scott Lang take in all of this craziness. So, for me, that’s fun to play.”

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP ©Marvel Studios 2018

After his exploits with the Avengers in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Scott Lang, the good-hearted ex-con, finds himself under house arrest. But when he faces the decision to once again don the Ant-Man suit, Scott is conflicted, as he is struggling to find a way to get his life back on track and be the best possible father to Cassie that he can be. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is a family-first film.  “We feel that we have our own space and tone within the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Paul Rudd explained, “we want it to work with the MCU, but we’re dealing with parents and children – a theme that runs through all these Ant-Man stories.”

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

L to R: Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) Photo: Ben Rothstein ©Marvel Studios 2018

A devoted father himself, Paul Rudd has no trouble connecting to his on-screen daughter Cassie Lang, played by Abby Ryder Fortson.  “She’s very talented, and I love working with her,” Rudd explained, “those scenes are accessible to me because Abby’s not far off from my own daughter.”  At first Paul Rudd was concerned his daughter would be jealous of the on-screen father-daughter relationship between Scott and Cassie Lang, but they’ve worked through it.  Paul Rudd explained that he does things within scenes that send signals to his daughter. “It’s not weird that I’m sharing this moment with another girl,” Rudd highlighted, “I tell my daughter that she’s the real Cassie.”

Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

L to R: Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Forston) behind-the-scenes on set. Photo by Ben Rothstein ©Marvel Studios 2018

The likeability of Paul Rudd adds to the success of the character and the Ant-Man films.  Producer Stephen Broussard said of the star, “Paul plays Scott Lang as someone that you care very deeply for, someone that when he messes up or does the wrong thing you feel for him, but you also can’t help but still like him and want him to be pulled back into the role of hero. And walking that line as an actor is not easy. It’s a testament to Paul’s innate abilities as an actor, as a comedian and as a writer. It’s been fun to watch him bring the dad-in-chief of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to life.”

Paul Rudd Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Paul Rudd (“Scott Lang / Ant-Man”) meets with group of bloggers. Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP opens July 6, 2018, and our spoiler-free review says it’s just the laugh we need after Infinity War.

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Paul Rudd Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.