He’s not actually a Highlander. If you look, especially in Civil War, you can see where he’s aged since 1995. But you do have to look carefully. He’s seven years older than I am, but the fact that he looks younger has nothing to do with the recent discovery that having children literally ages your body by seven years or nine or whatever it was; it has to do with the fact that Paul Rudd just ages very, very well.
While he’d done other things, including the series Sisters—which I actually watched a few times—he first came to prominent notice as Cher’s older former stepbrother Josh. Making women of my approximate age swoon over the whole thing. There are several shots of him looking at Cher; girls my age knew that someone who looked at us that way was definitely something we wanted in a relationship. I’m generally disdainful of marketing that suggests that the only way to get women to a superhero movie or similar is to put in some guy they like, but I won’t deny that one or two women must have gone to see Ant-Man because of adolescent crushes on Josh.
Among other things, he was also in the prettiest cast of Romeo and Juliet there’s ever been, Baz Lurhman’s 1996 production. He played “Dave Paris,” the man Juliet’s parents expected her to marry. He’s ten years older than Claire Danes, five years older than Leonardo DiCaprio, but a girl could do worse in an arranged marriage, I suppose; Cousin Tybalt is John Leguizamo, another five years older than Paul Rudd. Let’s be real; a girl like Juliet might have been expected to marry a man considerably older, less attractive, and less personable than Paul Rudd.
He’s done nearly twice as many movies over the years as DiCaprio, but none of them have been the sort of thing that gets people insisting that he “needs” an Oscar. (Actually, he played Nick in a made-for-TV Great Gatsby eighteen years ago!) He played Duke Orsino in a made-for-TV Twelfth Night with Helen Hunt as Viola that I now desperately need to see (even if I find it unlikely it’s as good as the theatrical production where Sir Ben Kingsley is Feste), but mostly, he’s done the kind of comedies that don’t interest me and forgettable dramas.
Until he became Scott Lang. Someone’s spreading around an image that suggests who might have played various Avengers characters if they’d made the movies in the ’90s, and the biggest argument against it that I’ve seen (other than that the Winter Soldier character didn’t exist yet) is that there’s no need to recast Scott Lang. Oh, there are several characters recast as actors within a few years of the person playing the character now, but is mid-’90s Paul Rudd really all that different from modern-day Paul Rudd?
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