Paul Rudd first rose to acting prominence in theater. He was born in New Jersey in 1969 and slowly moved further out west – the University of Kansas and then the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena – with the chief pursuit to study theater. It was as an undergraduate where he found not only a flair for improvisation (which he had been honing his whole life), but also a surprising love for dramatic pieces on the level of a Shakespeare or Marlowe.
Such a talent for eclectic roles and genres would later benefit Paul’s movie career, where he could easily go from small indie pictures like “The Ten” and “The Oh in Ohio” to a Judd Apatow juggernaut like “Knocked Up.” But in the early 1990s, Paul found work on television before his first substantial role in “Clueless” several years later. While he would work something like “The Object of My Affection” for the exposure and pay, Paul felt more suited in more meaningful roles such as the stage play “Bash” by Neil LaBute. He developed a new following when he showed up on “Friends” in the series’ latter years, and Neil LaBute tapped him as Rachel Weisz’s experiment in the playwright/filmmaker’s “The Shape of Things” in 2003.
By 2005, Paul found himself in the circle of Judd Apatow, co-starring in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and later part of “Knocked Up” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” While never leading man status on screen, Paul is quite comfortable – and talented – in quirky supporting roles and cameos. On stage, the actor seems most at home. And he certainly does not seem to be lacking for work; for it is believed that should Paul Rudd be part of your production, the caliber has just been raised.
Paul on the Web
Paul’s ultimate web resource.
TVGuide.com: Paul Rudd
Video links, biography, latest news, and photos of Paul.
Lengthy bio, web site links and photos.
Complete filmography and decent bio.
Paul Rudd Fan Page
Interactive fan site with clips of Paul in various roles over the years.
Paul discusses “Knocked Up” with a German reporter.
NPR Audio Interview
Listen to Paul chat about the indie film “The Ten,” in which he co-starred and produced.
Cinema Source.com Interview
Paul on “Diggers.”
A.V. Club Interview
2006 interview with Paul covering his theater love, indie scene love, and comedy.
Paul on Video
Rotten Tomatoes Video Exclusive
Paul and Leslie Mann chat about “Knocked Up.”
Daily Show Interview
Paul visits Jon Stewart in 2007.
“I Love You, Man” Interview
Paul and Jason Segal chat about “I Love You, Man.”
Paul on the Screen
While “Clueless” put Paul on the map, television was paying his bills: six episodes of “Wild Oats” and 20 episodes of “Sisters” gave Paul consistent work. He’s in the dismal “Halloween 6” in 1995, Parris in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” Kevin in “200 Cigarettes,” Nick Carraway in a 2000 TV version of “The Great Gatsby,” Andy in “Wet Hot American Summer,” Adam in “The Shape of Things,” Brian Fantana in “Anchorman,” Hunt in “Diggers,” Guy Gerricault on a few episodes of “Reno 911!,” an uncredited John Lennon in “Walk Hard,” and Henry in “Over Her Dead Body.” He also produced and starred in “The Ten” and has appearances in “The Ex” and “The Baxter.”
Paul can currently be seen in David Wain's new comedy "Wanderlust," and will appear in two more films by the end of 2012: the big screen adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "This Is Forty," Judd Apatow's quasi-sequel to "Knocked Up." Also in the works are the comedies "Lucky Dog," "Freezing People is Easy" and "Bobby Blue Sky."
On being a celebrity:
“I haven't taken the active approach to making myself a star. I haven't been in a blockbuster.”