Visiting the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp was amazing. One of the best parts? A Paul Rudd interview.
I do love me some Paul Rudd. I mean, what’s not to love about Josh from Clueless and Mike from “Friends?” I grew up adoring Paul Rudd and watching his career. I swoon every time I have an opportunity to interview Paul Rudd, so when I found out I would have a chance to watch him in action on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, GA, of course, I jumped at the opportunity.
On the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Rudd spent some time chatting all things Ant-Man and the Wasp and MCU with us. Also, he’s so dang funny. He tells funny stories and every answer had a comedic comment tied in. Improv every time.
Paul Rudd gave us the Scott Lang version of what he’d been up to since Captain America Civil War. As you may recall from Captain America Civil War, things didn’t end up so well for Scott Lang.
“The results didn’t go unnoticed, and as a result, I have been put under house arrest, so I’m just kind of living in my house. And Hank and Hope are kind of on the run, because my being there alerted the authorities to their presence,” Rudd explained.
“We’re not really on speaking terms, and also, I want to start this business with Michael Pena’s character, Luis, X-Con Security and kind of go the straight and narrow, just be a father, that’s my main concern.”
The movie starts with just a few days left to Scott’s punishment, and he doesn’t really think that this “superhero business” is for him; it just gets in the way of what he wants to do.
“I’m kind of brought back into it, against my will a little bit. There’s a job at hand that I am playing a very important part in, even if I don’t really want to be.”
Rudd talks about the biggest challenges in this movie
Scott Lang’s character wants to be a good parent. He has a daughter that he wants to be there for. “It’s very hard to have this kind of job, and feel as if you’re being a good parent, being responsible,” Rudd said.
“I think Scott is the kind of character that might be at odds with what’s good for people—not just his daughter, but other people that he cares about—and doing what’s good, being heroic, and finding his place in the world while simultaneously being a responsible parent. And you know, I think that’s something that a lot of actual parents, whether their job is a superhero or any job, to try and contribute in some way as a person to the good of the world, and while simultaneously being there for your family and your kids. And it just happens that this is a very specifically strange job.”
On Cassie wanting to be like her dad
“She seems like that’s what she wants to do. She wants to help.”
Rudd feels like a superhero in an upgraded suit
In the first Ant-Man, the costume was supposed to look as if it was built in the 80s. It was a little scuffed up, it had some analog qualities to it. It was changed for Civil War, now it’s changed again. It’s a bit of a mix of those two suits, and so there are a lot of comparisons, but it’s more of an updated version.
When asked how he feels wearing the suit…
“Well I mean, you feel like a superhero. They’re very flattering.” But Rudd said they aren’t the most comfortable things in the world.
Rudd shared a funny anecdote about meeting Dave Bautista and the superhero suit.
I met Dave Bautista recently, you know, he’s a big guy, and he was very nice. He asked me, “How is that suit? It must not be very comfortable.” And I thought, ‘I don’t think I’m going to complain about my suit to you, who clearly has to sit in the makeup chair for hours on end, you know?’ And he has a whole process of him getting all that stuff off, so I said, ‘Well, the suit’s fine. It’s pretty good’.”
On acting to micro vs. macro vs. Giant Man
“You just have to be careful where you step. No, that’s really more, it doesn’t really affect the acting, I don’t think, but visually, it’s hopefully striking and used for good reasons, funny or action-packed or whatever they are.”
On improv vs. sticking to the script
Rudd said the ability to improv and make changes to the script depends on whom they are working with, but sometimes they do make changes. “I’ll say lately we’ll sometimes veer from it a little bit, but always on point with what the scene is about,” Rudd said. “I don't know. I do like to work that way where sometimes you go into a scene and it’s like, ‘I don’t know what, I really don’t know what we’re going to say here, and sometimes that can yield something good, and a lot of times it just seems like a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re going to say.”
On visuals when working with a CGI set—how many visuals do they have vs. all CGI
There are some visuals. Visuals like the labs. “We shot in a lab that looked—this is really to me that most amazing thing, X-Con Security, we’re in these locations and they’ll build these locations and they look exactly like these pictures. It’s crazy, the talent that the set designers, builders, and artists have. So that kind of thing is cool. There’s no way. We’re working in this lab and there are interesting things about the lab, too, where it’s like some things are being blown up so you see something like a safety pin, but it’s like a practical, like that big. But a lot of times, certainly with things with ants or other effects, I don’t have an idea, and it isn’t until we see the movie. I mean when I saw the first Ant-Man, you know, I had an idea of what it would look like, but it was so much bigger and better than what I even imagined, and we’re also using macro-photography in this, which we did in the first one, too, which is a really cool thing because you would think that a lot of these close up shots are just computer generated, and they’re not.”
“You know, there’s a scene in the first one where I’m on these ants and I’m going through a pipe on this water. Like, that was really shot in a pipe with water. They just put me in it, and so, a lot of these things that I imagined, I won’t see until the movie comes out, and I see what this macro photography looks like.”
It’s like having everybody in the world being part of your imagination. Do you ever feel ridiculous?
“All the time. I’m a grown man riding around on an ant.”
On being a part of Avengers 4
At the time of the interview in October 2017, Rudd confirmed he wasn’t in Infinity War because he was on house arrest, but obviously, these interviews were held. Rudd said he’d been working on the Avengers 4 movie for a few days.
“Oh, I don't know, I don't know how they chop it up. Are you fishing for details? Look, here’s the thing. I have no idea what—it’s funny. Well, when you figure it out, let me know because I really don’t, I have no idea.
Yeah, I giggled. He answered my question unknowingly. Yep, totally fishing for details. I felt like a naughty schoolgirl. At least I confirmed one of my favorite Avengers was back for Avengers 4.
How researching ants and learning ant species changed Rudd’s view of ants
Rudd said he has a newfound respect for ants. “I don’t mess with ants.” He can identify some species, but there are a lot of ants. He researched and learned about a lot of species of ants for the first movie, but didn’t learn every single one.
On how Rudd approaches the role of Ant-Man for the third time
Rudd said that stepping into the role again it’s changed for him. The character has evolved. “Tonally, everyone has a bit more clarity on it,” Rudd said. After Ant-Man, no one really knew what level of humor the character was going to land. Would he be funny in action? Serious?
During Civil War, the Russos actually wanted Ant-Man to be funny, to provide a bit of comic relief and alleviate some of the tension. Rudd feels like it’s gone more in that direction, but hopes it doesn’t feel like a different character; it’s not. “I feel like I have a clearer sense, and there are also certain things we don’t have to establish now because we know.”
Maybe the funniest part of the entire interview. The very last thing Rudd said when we were finished:
“I’m not in either Infinity War movie.”
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Atlanta on an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.
Ant-Man and the Wasp flies into theatres July 6, 2018.