Paul Rudd. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA.
  • Interviews

HFPA in Conversation: Paul Rudd Gets Cloned

On the TV show Living with Yourself, Paul Rudd plays a man who wants to be a better version of himself. It deals with the distance of a married couple and depression in an unusual way. “In the script, this husband and wife come down for breakfast and they never look at each other, they are just looking at their phones and they are not connecting in any way. There is so much subtext underneath and it is not written out,” Paul Rudd told HFPA journalist Greet Ramaekers.

He thinks this kind of situation is familiar to many people. “I thought, well I’ve been there, I know that scene right there. My god, I probably had it this morning with my own family. When you start to explore that kind of behavior it is relatable and fun to play. And also a form of therapy for myself, honestly.”

His character Miles Elliott is willing to spend $50,000 to try and make his life better. “I think depression is something that many people relate to. I think there are people who are depressed who don’t even realize they are depressed. And this show addresses some of those topics in a unique way.” 

The end result is that there are two Miles; the new, happy-go-lucky one and the old one who is struggling with everything. How was it playing two versions of the same character? “I felt like I was playing two very distinct and different people. I was sitting a little differently, my posture and expressions were different and my voice was coming across a little differently and my hair was changing.”

What is his opinion about the cloning industry? “It seems as if every article I read about artificial intelligence is terrifying. When I was doing research about quantum realms for Ant-Man I would talk to this physicist, a guy named Brian Greene, and we started talking about parallel universes and computer programs. The idea of what existence is and what we are is so mind-bending and out of the realm of my brain to absorb. I’m interested in it but I can’t even understand it,” he says and continues.

“With cloning, I think that if this was the kind of thing that we really were able to do with human beings it is probably not a great thing. I like the idea of being able to use stem cells and maybe clone an organ to help heal somebody who is ill but I think when we start messing with the cosmic picture we might get ourselves in trouble.” 

Listen to the podcast and hear if he always wanted to be an artist; what was his first passion; why he doesn’t feel he has roots in any one place; why it was important for him to act in the theater;  why humor is important for him, and why he doesn’t think of himself as a comedian; why Steve Martin’s comedy records were important to him; how he got to know Judd Apatow and why he likes to work with him; why laughing is important to him; why he loves Ireland; what he learned in Africa; why he thinks life could be a computer program; how he got the role as Ant-Man; how was his first experience at the Comic-Con; whether he wears the Ant-Man costume on Halloween; how does he handle fame; how important writing is to him; why he changed from soccer to poker; and what he is doing next.