Paul Rudd is starring in a new Netflix comedy series Living With Yourself (premiering Oct. 18), about a middle-aged man whose troubled life gets invaded by his (far-superior?) clone. We talked to the affable actor, 50, about the show, playing Ant-Man, and his future and career at midlife.
On playing two versions of himself in Living With Yourself
The script was just like reading a great book: layered and funny and thought-provoking. Playing two parts [Miles and clone Miles] and doing scenes with myself was really challenging and fun.
On turning 50 last April
It is strange when you think, “Wow, 50.” When I turned 40, it wasn't that I felt weird, but the words had weight to them. Even the way they sounded coming out of my mouth. Maybe it's the F sounds: “Forty, Fifty.” It sounds like you're dropping something heavy. I'm not too worried about it. I've been married a long time. I've got two kids, 14 and 9. My dad used to say, “Hey, it beats the alternative."
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey
Early achievement: Student body president, Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kansas
Claims to fame: Clueless (1995); The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005); Knocked Up (2007); I Love You, Man (2009); This Is 40 (2012); Ant-Man (2015); Avengers: Endgame (2019)
His next TV binges: Fleabag, The Crown
Getting in shape
I changed my diet and work out and whole life when I got [the Ant-Man role]. I started training and eating like an athlete: no sugar, no alcohol, just proteins and vegetables. I really loved it. It was a complete change of life that took me by surprise. I did not think living such a healthy lifestyle would be as fulfilling.
Getting out of shape for Living With Yourself
I thought if I'm really going to do this in the way I would understand the character, I had to cut out all the training. It was amazing to see how quickly I reverted. What's been even tougher to swallow is the length of time it takes to try and get back. That's where I really notice a difference from what I could do in my 20s and 30s when it comes to fitness. But you set your mind to do it and you start doing it.
On kids (Jack, 14, and Darby, 9, with wife Julie Yaeger) having Hollywood ambitions
They haven't expressed much interest in acting. My son loves sports and fitness. My daughter is all about gymnastics right now, and zoology, because she loves animals. We have a Cavapoo, very sweet. They look like stuffed animals.
The ability to crack the worst corniest dad joke at any moment.
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Cyrano de Bergerac. I was always drawn to that role more than Hamlet, which all the other actors wanted to do.
Paul Newman. I loved him as an actor and he also happened to be the coolest man, somebody that gave so much to so many people, so charitable. He's the guy we should all try to emulate.
Watch list show
I'm the worst. I'm the guy who still hasn't seen The Wire.
I play a teacher in Ghostbusters. Jason Reitman [Juno, Up in the Air] wrote and directed it. He's the son of the original Ghostbusters director, Ivan Reitman. There's something very nice and interesting and cool having Ivan's son doing this. Very family business.
How to Watch Living With Yourself: Streaming on Netflix online, on your TV or on your mobile app, starting Oct. 18.