Paul Rudd may be one of the most likable (and funniest) actors working today, but in his latest, 'I Love You, Man,' he's hurting for friends. In order to make some guy pals, his character, Peter Klaven, goes on a series of "man-dates." Peter and Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) meet cute, go on a man-date or two ... and the bromance is on.
We caught up with Rudd to talk about his own experience with man-dates, his case of "funny body" -- and why he thinks he's the Oliver Brady of the 'Friends' cast. -- By Angie Argabrite
Garry Miller, FilmMagic.com
1. Have you ever been on the perfect man-date?
Joe Lo Truglio, who is actually in the movie -- he plays the high-pitched-voice guy -- is one of my very good friends, and I remember meeting Joe at an Irish pub in New York and watching football games on a Sunday and then leaving kind of halfway through and going to sing karaoke, the two of us, which is really kind of sad, but true. And ... you know what, it was a perfect day. Starting off with beer and nachos then ending with the Glen Campbell songbook, you know, it's not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
2. In real life are you more a Peter or a Sydney?
I'm probably somewhere in the middle ... there are little quirky things about [Sydney] that I could relate to. I'm not quite like that character, but there's a little move where he jumps over a couch and goes [in a funny voice] "hello" to the person and waves his hand. I'll sometimes do stuff like that. But when it comes to hanging out with buddies and not picking up after a dog, I'm not quite like that.
3. In the movie, Peter gives really bad nicknames. Did you have a good nickname?
I never had a nickname growing up. I knew kids who had nicknames, and it makes you feel special -- like you're cool, you're part of a clique, and I never had one. But I would never, ever give myself one. I did go to college with one guy who did give himself a nickname, and we never called him it [laughs]. I had friends in college who had nicknames on top of nicknames, like one guy's nickname was "Ned," but then it just turned into "Silent R," which worked on many levels.
4. An old friend of yours, Joe Buck, says that in college you used to love to get naked...
I saw [that] in the paper, and I will be calling Joe to ask him what the hell he's talking about [laughs]. But I suppose there's some truth in that, especially when you look funny naked, like you have a case of the "funny body" -- I have had a case of the "funny body" several times in my life. It's just a cheap laugh, and I'm always a whore for those. There's probably some truth, I think that maybe in college I did get naked for the joke effect. But Joe didn't even go to my college! How I know him -- because we've been friends for a long time, since freshman year of college -- is that his best friend growing up was one of my roommates in college ... He will be hearing from me [laughs].
5. Why are you the one fully clothed in the Vanity Fair cover spoof? And was there talk of the other guys actually going naked, without the body suits?
They told us who we were gonna be, and I was just the lucky one, I guess. No, you know, Annie Leibowitz comes up with a thesis and [wearing the bodysuits] was always part of it. No one ever suggested it or talked about it. Jason was recently doing a lot of these interviews, and they asked him the same question, and Jason's answer was, "They didn't because they assumed Vanity Fair wanted to sell some magazines."
7. Did you talk to Jon Favreau while you were filming, about getting a part in 'Iron Man 2'?
I did not. In fact, when we were filming ['I Love You, Man'], 'Iron Man' had just come out, literally we were shooting and the movie had come out that weekend, so he was celebrating one of the biggest successes in film history, certainly for him, and to celebrate it he just had to come to work and get thrown up on [by me]. He said it was a great equalizer.
8. Are you kicking yourself now for not asking for a part in 'Iron Man 2'?
No, I don't think that I'm right [laughs]. I like what he said, when Comedy Central or something was on set, they were interviewing us and they asked Jon, "You're kind of a guy's guy aren't you?" He looked around and he saw me and Jason Segel, Andy Samberg and John Hamburg, the director, and he said, "In this crowd I am."
9. Have you heard anything about a 'Friends' movie, and would you be interested in being in that?
I haven't heard anything about that, nor would I hear anything about that. I'm way down on the 'Friends' chain ... If they call me and it made sense, I would certainly be very flattered, but I always figure those things are just rumors that keep going year after year. It's not my thing, that's really the six of them, and I think that's why people would want to see the movie ... On 'Friends' I feel like I was one rung below Oliver in 'The Brady Bunch.' I was the Robby Rist of the 'Friends' cast [laughs]. And how I know the name of Oliver in 'The Brady Bunch' sucks ... not proud of that.
10. Do you think any of your movies would make a good sequel? Are any in the works now?
No, none are in the works. I know I've heard rumors and people asking about a sequel to 'Anchorman,' and we've all said that if it was the right thing and it was a good script -- because I think it has to be even weirder -- we would all be excited about doing it and working with each other again, because it was so much fun. But I don't think anyone is actively doing anything about it. I dunno, sequels are always a tricky territory.