Paul Rudd, 170th Man of the Year, Talks Super Bowl and Charity

Paul Rudd is awarded the 170th Hasty Pudding Theatricals Man of the Year at Harvard University. Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Bansari Kamdar / BU News Service

By Sophie Will
BU News Service

Paul Rudd accepted the award for the 170th Hasty Pudding Theatricals Man of the Year Friday night in Cambridge.

Rudd, 41, discussed filming in Boston, the upcoming Super Bowl and his nonprofit work after accepting his pudding pot. Rudd’s new movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” debuts this July.

Rudd withstood a roast before accepting his pudding pot, highlighting his career in movies like “Clueless,” and “Wet Hot American Summer,” his accent skills and his beer-chugging talent.

Rudd was subjected to more than funny quips. He wore an Ant-Man bra and reenacted one of his infamous scenes from “I Love You, Man,” playing air guitar to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.”

While the roast poked fun at Rudd having the same role in every movie, Rudd’s other movie debuting this year is different from his usual goofy comedy. In “The Catcher Was a Spy,” Rudd plays former Red Sox coach, Moe Berg — a role he called a brand-new experience.

The feature film debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival. It chronicles Coach Berg’s double life as a major-league player and a spy for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.

“Filming at Fenway was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had in my life, let alone acting life,” Rudd said during the press conference following the roast and presentation of the award. “To be on the field, wearing the uniform and playing someone who is real … was surreal and very exciting.”

Though Rudd spent time in Boston and said his heart belonged to the Kansas City Royals, he said he was rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“I am absolutely 100 percent rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles because I’m tired of the Patriots,” Rudd said. “I know exactly where I’m at, but I’m not going to suck up … I’m not a Patriots fan and I hope they lose.”

Rudd, however, said he respects the relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, calling it the “greatest in the history of the game.”

As a self-proclaimed history buff, Rudd said he finds peace in the old city of Boston.

“Whenever you’re standing in a place with real history that’s been there for hundreds of years, it has a way of making you feel sane,” Rudd said. “It puts you in your place and it makes all your problems just a little smaller because this has been going on for a lot longer than I have.”

Last week, Rudd participated in the 6th Annual All-Star Bowling Benefit for the Stuttering Association for the Young, an organization he has worked closely with for years, calling it “an incredible thing in my life.”

“Getting to know a lot of kids who have a severe stutter has made me a more empathetic and a more considerate person I hope,” Rudd said. “My kids come to the event every year and they love it. It’s been great to think about something I never would have thought about before.”

In 2012, Rudd told Vanity Fair he became involved with stuttering awareness after depicting a character who stutters in a play. He said he had never thought about how stuttering affects young students in particular.

“If you’re in school and you’re the kid in your school [who stutters], you’re not going to raise your hand and answer a question,” Rudd said. “You’re not going to participate in the ways kids participate and that’s heartbreaking.”

Through his Ant-Man movies, Rudd said he is able to connect with the children more.

“It’s interesting that I’ve worked with the group for years and it’s the first time, because of Ant-Man, that I’ve been in anything that they’ve seen, so that’s kind of cool,” Rudd said.

Rudd also commented on the recent change to Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which announced last week it will officially welcomes women performers next year.

“I think it’s really great, I do,” Rudd said.

Rudd is set to appear in three movies being released into 2018.

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