Belfast Telegraph

Paul Rudd: I want to be a nice guy

Paul Rudd longs to be “a nice guy” in everyday life, but worries he never will be.

The actor has made a career out of playing the funny man in movies such as Knocked Up, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and his latest release This Is 40.

He remains amazed by the roles he wins as Paul feels he isn’t always the kindest person in real life.

“This nice guy thing, I don’t get it,” he told British newspaper The Times. “And I know that I have to fight to get cast in roles where it’s not a particularly likeable character. I want to be a nice guy in life, but I certainly can be just a total a*shole. I know it. And I don’t like it when I am. But sometimes I feel like I don’t even know how not to be an a*shole.”

The star has loved comedy ever since he was a young boy, although he went on to study theatre and still enjoys performing on stage.

He believes the urge to make people laugh started when he was little because his family moved around so much, although he spent most of his upbringing in Kansas.

“People are more polite to one another in the Midwest,” he said. “Maybe that comes from growing up in a place that you know is not cool to live in.”

This Is 40 sees Paul reprise the role of Pete from Knocked Up. The movie follows Pete and his wife Debbie as they try to deal with turning 40 and offers a sometimes cringe-worthy insight into married life.

Many of the ideas it contains came from Paul and his wife Julie. They sat down with director Judd Apatow – who is married to Leslie Mann – and opened up about their union, with Julie pleased one particular part made it into the film.

In one scene, Pete mutters “Everyone says that I’m such a nice guy, but I can be such a d**k.”

Paul laughed: “When we first watched the movie she leant over and whispered: ‘I’m so glad you said that.’ When we shot the line I remember thinking: ‘My wife is going to like this.’”

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