TheBlot Magazine recently caught up with one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood Paul Rudd and sat down for an interview. The charming actor Paul Rudd plays Alvin, an isolated road worker, in the 2013 Sundance Official Selection, “Prince Avalanche.” David Gordon Green won for Best Director at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. Goofy guy Lance (Emile Hirsch) is paired with Alvin to paint lines on lonely Texas roads. It’s a simple tale of two aimless guys spending the summer of 1988 bickering and bonding. Rudd behaved nothing like his prickly character when he sat down for an interview with TheBlot Magazine.
Dorri Olds: How was it working with a small crew in an amazing woodland location?
Paul Rudd: It was great and one hundred percent creative. There was no pressure. We didn’t even know if it would get released. It felt like an experiment. If something seemed interesting to us we were just like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” David [Gordon Green] and I have known each other for a long time and I key in to his sensibility. I like his aesthetic and the way he works so it was a real charge. We didn’t have much time so there was a sense of urgency and that we were flying by the seat of our pants.
You were very good on Letterman the other night. Was it fun?
It was exciting to be there on Oprah night.
Is it easy to just turn the switch to get out of a role or are you a method actor?
I’m not a method actor because that sounds exhausting. But I do find that when something ends it’s tough to shake because the character does seep into your skin. I didn’t shave the mustache right away even though I don’t want a mustache. I don’t flip the switch. There is kind of a dénouement like a slow turning of the faucet until finally it just stops. I don’t think it’s conscious.
Does changing your hair for each role help you get into character?
Yeah, it does. With this guy, Alvin, in “Prince Avalanche” a mustache just seemed right. It’s 1988 so I had freedom to not look contemporary. I don’t think of it as a period piece, though, because I remember 1988. [Laughs] A mustache seemed to fit into the outdoors but I was also very self-conscious because I didn’t want to play a hipster in any way. I wanted big round Sally Jessie Raphael glasses.
They weren’t red, though.
[Laughs] I didn’t want to go red. I wanted to go more Roger Ebert. It made me feel different. Those flame retardant overalls make you move differently—the shoes, glasses, overalls—it changes you and helps you form the character.
If you’re playing somebody sad do you feel that way?
Yes in some ways it does just happen. I wonder if it’s inevitable. I did “Long Days Journey Into Night” which is the saddest play ever. I did it for four or five months then wanted to slit my wrists. I went into it completely naïve thinking, ‘This is going to be a blast.’ It was fulfilling and an amazing experience but it did affect my mood. Equally, when I played Ned in “Our Idiot Brother,” I was a character who saw the positive in everything and I loved it. That was another time my role was hard to shake. I just wanted to keep wearing hippy dippy clothes and I didn’t want to cut my hair or shave.
Do you ever feel lonely or alone?
There’s a big difference. I love being alone. I love listening to music. I don’t do it as much as I used to. I like to sit and think and meditate on things. It’s hard to do.
You mean because you have two kids?
Is your wife funny? Are you the straight man? I’ve heard that Robin Williams is very depressing at home.
I might be, too, and just not aware of it.
Who makes you laugh the hardest?
George Carlin, Albert Brooks movies, Tim and Eric, Patton Oswalt, Don Rickles, Mel Brooks as the 2000 year old man.
How about Richard Pryor?
Oh, yeah, of course! And Steve Martin. Too many to name.
What can you say about “Clueless”?
It meant a lot. It was exciting because it was one of the first things I ever did. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is the Paramount lot, those are the gates. This is unreal and look there’s that girl from the Aerosmith video.’ The whole thing was exciting and I didn’t have a barometer to compare it to. I had worked as an actor but small roles in television stuff and one small movie. It’s been 18 years and I know that the movie meant a lot to a certain generation.
Do you have a favorite role during your career?
What are your upcoming projects?
The next film is “Anchorman: The Legend Continues,” which we just finished shooting a few months ago. It was fantastic—a blast.
Rated R. 94 minutes. Comedy drama.