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PAUL RUDD: Everything Is Coming Up Roses
by Nancy Simon

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Spotlight on Paul Rudd

Spotlight on Paul Rudd
So you think you figured out character actor, Paul Rudd? He is comic actor who excels at silly, prankster-type humor. Yes and no.

While the thirty-seven-year-old Rudd, with his youthful, sheepish appearance, does excel at what some call sophomoric banter, he also possesses talent as a dramatic actor appearing in both feature films and stage plays.

Demonstrating his abilities to do both light-hearted fare as well as more intense material,-coming off the mega-hit THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN-Rudd, of late, has been acting along side Julia Roberts on Broadway in Three Days of Rain (yes, the one for which she get panned-but I believe Rudd came out unscathed), in addition to, playing Parker Posey's (Priscilla Chase) husband, Jack, on the big screen in THE OH IN OHIO.

Within THE OH in OHIO, Rudd as Jack plays it straight as a high school biology teacher whose marriage to the sexually dysfunctional Priscilla (Posey) hit the skids for she was never able to achieve an orgasm. And, while Rudd primarily is there to reverberate off of Posey's antics, Rudd is able to hold his own within this 'naughty little indie with amiable performances' as characterized by Nathan Lee of the New York Times.

THE OH in OHIO includes cameos by: Danny DeVito, David Arquette, Liza Minelli, and Mischa Barton.

As a romantic figure, Rudd has cornered the market playing the dejected boyfriend and | or love sick puppy. In the general sense, since his first major role as Josh, the former step-brother | love in interest opposite
OH IN OHIO Official Movie Poster

OH IN OHIO Official Movie Poster
Alicia Silverstone in the high school classic CLUELESS (1995) to his endearing roles in the comedic, THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION (1998, as George Hanson, a gay schoolteacher on whom Nina, played by Jennifer Aniston has a crush); the tear-jerker, CIDER HOUSE RULES (1999, as Wally Worthingon boyfriend of pregnant Candy, played by Charlize Theron); and the romantic, PS (2004 as Sammy Silverstein along side Laura Linney and Topher Grace); Rudd has mounted a pretty serious career encompassing both jocular films and more meaningful fare.

Yet, even though Rudd does mainstream- ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGANDY (2004) very well, he also tends to choose films with a certain independent charm. Examples include: Bazz Luhrman's ROMEO+ JULIET (1996), the previously mentioned Dylan Kidd's PS and his present day film, newcomer Billy Kent's THE OH IN OHIO.

Born in the Garden State of New Jersey, Rudd, who is of half Polish and half French descent, seems to have mastered the fine art of playing the 'approachable guy next door."

Though some may think because he was funny and all American good looks that his passion for acting developed as an afterthought, but really just the opposite is true. A, pivotal driving force in his life, attaining more training as an actor led him to major in theater while at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and from there move to LA where he enrolled and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/ West in Los Angeles. In addition, he also took part in a

three-month intensive workshop at the British Drama Academy at Oxford University in England.

Perhaps, it was his refined training that helped him to land classical acting gigs on television including: Duke Orsino in the "Twelfth Night" (1998) and Nick Carraway in "The Great Gatsby" (2000), as well as, the coveted part of Mike Hannigan, Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) boyfriend | husband during the final season (all right, so this may not have required a classically trained actor).

However, as Rudd is able to display such versatility as an actor, it certainly seems as if the buddy | boyfriend actor of choice has no future shortage of opportunities.

Rudd's roster of upcoming films includes: DIGGERS, the coming of age story about four working class friends who grew up clam digging along the shores of Long Island, with Ron Eldard, Maura Tierney and Peter Dinklage; the romantic comedy, I COULD NEVER BE YOUR MAN reunites Rudd with director Amy Heckerling and positions him as the younger boyfriend of Michelle Pfeiffer; and KNOCKED UP reunites Rudd with director Judd Apatow (FORTY-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN) and places him opposite Katherine Heigl in a romantic | comedy of impregnated proportions.

Oh, my G-D, apparently for Rudd all appears to rose-colored. He has a slew of romantic comedies, as well as, a bunch of other types of films, and a host of avenues from theater to television he can explore. Spot on Rudd, you seem to have certainly paid your dues.

Paul Rudd on Matchflick

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Every other Friday

A capsulized profile on an emerging talent, i.e., actor/director in the film world and a snippet as to why he or she is destined to soon become a household name.

Other Columns
Other columns by Nancy Simon:

EMILE HIRSCH: Young Upstart

SIENNA MILLER:B-day Girl\ Factory Girl

DJIMON HOUNSOU: A Diamond in the Rough

ABBIE CORNISH: Who's That Girl?

DARREN ARONOFSKY: Daring to go further

All Columns

Nancy Simon
A Chicago-based freelance writer and film enthusiast, Nancy has an insatiable curiousity and knack for picking out talented, promising individuals.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Nancy Simon by clicking here.

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