‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ Star Paul Rudd Talks His Most Challenging Marvel Sequence So Far
Paul Rudd is about to have a week he’ll never forget.
On Sunday, his beloved Kansas City Chiefs are taking on the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl LVII, an event that will include his own Heineken 0.0 commercial featuring Scott Lang/Ant-Man. And then late next week, his third dedicated MCU movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniaopens in theaters around the world.
Peyton Reed’s latest installment also includes Rudd’s most challenging Marvel sequence to date as he had to perform alongside many different versions of Scott Lang/Ant-Man in order to achieve a critical objective. The set piece is somewhat reminiscent of Rudd’s 2019 series, Living with Yourselfin which he acted beside his character’s clone, and that past experience proved to be quite helpful on the Quantumania set
“There were so many other technical considerations that it took weeks to shoot that entire sequence. It was easily the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do,” Rudd tells The News84Media.
Rudd has also embraced the role of spokesperson the last decade, making him no stranger to Super Bowl Sunday commercials including 2013’s Samsung Mobile. ad and 2022’s Lay’s Spot, both of which co-starred Rudd’s dear friend, Seth Rogen. But this year’s advertisement is especially meaningful to Rudd as he’s using the heroic standing of Ant-Man to promote responsible consumption via Heineken’s new alcohol-free beer. The fact that it’s playing during a Chiefs-involved Super Bowl is just icing on the cake for him.
“I had a really fun time working on the Heineken commercial for this year. So it’s exciting to feel a part of something huge like the Super Bowl, and for somebody like me who’s a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, it makes it even cooler,” Rudd says.
In a recent conversation with THRRudd also discusses his famous Seth Rogen-massage story and what a missed opportunity it was to not include it in their 2022 Lay’s “Golden Memories” commercial.
So Peyton Reed said that he no longer wanted to be the MCU’s palette cleanser. Were you in lockstep with him?
I was! We did talk about the fact that this is our third one out and that it would be cool to take a big swing. And it felt like it would be right because it’s starting off phase five. We also knew we were going to have Kang [Jonathan Majors] in this, and Kang is such a major figure in Marvel history. So it was fitting and it was exciting. It was cool.
You did some writing on the first two movies, so how come you sat this one out?
Well, I was working prior to it, and I think they had an idea of what they wanted to do. There’s a guy named Jeff Loveness, who’s our writer on the film, and so they worked on the script. I talked to them a little bit about the idea of what the film was, but it was great. Jeff’s a terrific writer, and it was so nice to get a script and read it and just be excited about the idea of filming it. These are still collaborative efforts, but Jeff just did a really great job of nailing this thing, getting the characters down and writing this epic story.
My favorite sequence in the film involves you acting with yourself, so did your experience playing a clone on Living With Yourself come in handy during those days?
(Laughs.) You know, it kind of did in some ways, only because I knew what was important as far as eyeliners, how that kind of worked, how I could listen to myself say something and respond to which character I knew needed to record a line first so that I could actually respond to it. But it was so much more than that Living with Yourself in that there were all of these different versions and not just two. There were so many other technical considerations that it took weeks to shoot that entire sequence. It was easily the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. Sometimes, when I played opposite myself in Living with Yourself, I was just imagining somebody there; I wasn’t really looking at anything. But with this sequence, I have all of these other versions of me, but we really did need people in blue suits that I could interact with or grab a hand and do all of this stuff. So it was a challenge.
So Seth Rogen tells an incredible story involving you swapping places with his masseuse during a massage, and he didn’t realize you had done so until later. Did anyone pitch recreating that story for you Lay’s commercial last year?
(Laughs.) It’s really an opportunity lost that we didn’t get to recreate that magical moment, but I also understand the people at Lay’s thinking no one would ever want to see that in their lives. When Seth told that story, I’d completely forgotten about it. I probably blocked it out intentionally.
Whether it’s Lay’s last year or yours Heineken Super Bowl commercial this year, has the spokesperson phase of your career come as a complete surprise?
Many things in my career have come as a complete surprise. Working with Marvel has been a complete surprise and a great one at that. Yeah, it’s been fun. I love working with Seth [Rogen]. Seth is awesome, and those [commercials] were really fun to do. And I had a really fun time working on the Heineken commercial for this year. So it’s exciting to feel a part of something huge like the Super Bowl, and for somebody like me who’s a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, it makes it even cooler.
Baskin Robbins has maintained a presence in Scott’s life. Do you have a golden ticket that’s usable at Baskin Robbins locations around the world?
I don’t believe I do, which might be a good thing. If I had the opportunity to have free ice cream whenever I wanted, it might be dangerous. But no, I’ve never been approached by Baskin Robbins. They’ve never offered up even a single scoop.
Like the massage story, it’s another missed opportunity.
Yeah, I know, but I like to think there’s always still time. So maybe down the road, somebody at Baskin Robbins will hear this and they’ll know, if they’ve done their research, that I’m a Mint Chip fan. And maybe somewhere down the road, there’ll be another Super Bowl — I don’t know what the product will be — and they’ll just know that they’re going to want to see me rubbing down Seth Rogen to hawk their wares. .
Scott is a big fan of Captain America, but he’s butt heads with the new Captain America, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), in the past. So how do you think that’s going to shake out?
(Laughs.) I have no idea about any of that. I know that in the past he’s called me Tic Tac, and I think that’s a little patronizing if you want to know the truth. But I don’t know anything about the future of anything except that Kang is maybe somebody that people are still going to have to reckon with.
Well, Paul Rudd, thank you for taking time away from Patrick Mahomes’ ankle rehab to be here today, and congrats again on your third Ant-Man film.
I appreciate it. Thank you so much, and go Chiefs!
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania opens Feb. 17 in movie theaters. This interview was edited for length and clarity.
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