ComingSoon.net visited the set of DreamWorks’ upcoming comedy, I Love You, Man, which opens in theaters on January 16, 2009 and stars Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jaime Pressly and Rashida Jones. We had a chance to chat with Paul Rudd, whose character discovers as he’s about to get married that he has no male friends and goes on the hunt for a best man.
ComingSoon.net: It looks like you can really play the bass guitar.
Paul Rudd: I can’t, I can play a couple of those songs though, I tried to learn “Limelight” on bass and “Tom Sawyer” and I figured out the very basic (co-star Andy Samberg interrupts the interview by standing behind Rudd) Oh God, he’s such a media whore, you know what I mean?
CS: Looks like you guys are having fun.
Rudd: Actually, I’ve never met him.
CS: He hangs around.
Rudd: I was trying to formulate some other twisted joke, but I’ll go back to the bass playing, yeah, I tried to get that “Limelight,” it’s not a really kind of generic way of playing, I could do enough to get the calluses going anyway.
CS: Are you a fan of Rush?
Rudd: I do like Rush, yeah, when I was a kid they scared me a little bit because I saw the video of “Tom Sawyer” and Geddy Lee just had his hair hanging down, there were certain guys like Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick also that I was just kind of freaked out by them. Yeah, those musicians really rattled me. And then “Tom Sawyer,” I was like “Why is it called ‘Tom Sawyer,’ it just sounds so dark and evil,” and then I got a little older and then I kind of went through this phase where I bought “Moving Pictures,” that record, and then I was like “Red Barchetta,” that’s where it’s at, and I went through a little Rush phase and then I got totally of course kind of into them years ago, and kind of like “The Spirit of the Radio” I would play it in my car really loud, so I was really nervous to meet them anyway.
CS: Did you have scenes against them, or are they just playing on stage?
Rudd: No, they’re in the movie and we didn’t have any scenes where I engaged with them, I was just a fan dancing in the show, but I got to meet them, and Jason and I actually interviewed them and I was nervous and like, “How do you interview Rush?” They seem also to be really a band that has shied away, they’ve really lived the words of “Limelight,” living in the limelight, it’s surreal and they can’t pretend that a stranger is a long waited friend, I just kept thinking that when I was trying to buddy up to them, but they were very funny and very friendly, and big fans of “Team America.” They’re really funny guys like they were very nice and yeah, they were really cool, and I don’t know how the topic of “South Park” and “Team America” came up, “Team America” and they all went crazy and started talking, and quoting it, and it was just really weird to be exchanging “Team America” quotes with Neil Peart.
CS: So are you and Segel man pals the same way your characters are?
Rudd: Yeah, I think we get along pretty well, we will do these little extended bits and runs that no one will ever enjoy except us, that’s outside of the movie, hopefully not just in the movie, probably a few, but yeah, we get on pretty well.
CS: You’ve done movies with him before.
Rudd: Yeah, this is our third one, the first one was “Knocked Up” and that was actually where I met him and we didn’t really have a lot of stuff to do in that movie, “Sarah Marshall” there was a lot more, and that was also really fun besides the location and where it was shot, I mean that was truly like, “You guys just say whatever you want,” and so I think that we really started laughing and kind of really clicking on that movie and I was really excited that he was doing this movie.
CS: Can I ask you a question about being in Hawaii? I was just there for the junket for that and the surf instructor said that if they ever see you that they were going to beat you up because they were upset about your portrayal in that film.
Rudd: Oh yes, yeah, I thought that they would beat me up for my ability to surf.
CS: No, they said they saw it and were really disappointed that you played him like a stoner dude.
Rudd: Well, I think that’s where people really have to have a suspension of disbelief that a surf instructor might actually smoke weed.
CS: The nice thing about “Knocked Up” is that Jason’s character has no idea that he hates you, or why he hates you because he’s into your wife.
Rudd: Yeah, he’s way into my wife in that movie, that is quintessential Jason Segel that he could just do that creepy stare that lasts a little too long, and it could be very funny, but also unsettling, and he would do that with Leslie Mann in that movie and then he would look at me like probably these surfer guys that wanted to kill me.
CS: Is there some of that in this, is he kind of playing that?
Rudd: He’s created a completely unique character in this movie. I mean, the one thing I like about both of our characters is that we’re both guys, but we wear our hearts on our sleeves, and he has no problem acting in ways that might not be considered stereotypically macho, and he knows how to pronounce aoli, as do I, and I think that says it all.
CS: Do you think this movie is going to start a trend with man-dates?
Rudd: Probably not, does that happen, there is friend finder, just finding male companionship, those might be different sites than I’m thinking of.
CS: You could try them and get back to us.
Rudd: I will, give me your email addresses and I’ll send you updates on man-dates.
CS: Craigslist is pretty good for that too.
Rudd: It is? You’re starting to reveal something here, I’ve never been to Craigslist or Myspace.
Rudd: I’m really behind on this, everybody I know has these pages, and I’ve tried to, but I don’t have a password so I can’t get on, I don’t have an account.
CS: Why don’t you have guy friends?
Rudd: I’ve always been kind of a girlfriend guy, not that I’m particularly weird or anything, it’s just that I’ve always been in long relationships and now that I’m kind of in my mid-thirties. It’s really exactly said, I don’t even know how old I am, well post-college, I have a career and now I’m getting engaged, and during this engagement, Rashida Jones, who plays my fiancée, you know calls all of her friends that are going to be bridesmaids, and I’m not calling anybody to tell them the news. My parents are sleeping, I’ll tell them tomorrow, I don’t really have any close friends that I would share this news with, and so she says, “Why not,” and I said, “I don’t know, I guess I just kind of put all of my energy into my relationships,” and so that’s kind of how it happens that I realize for the first time, I never thought I was missing anything, and so then I have to try because I think she’s weirded out by it, so I have to go out and try to find some friends.
CS: Is there a Vegas sequence somewhere in this?
Rudd: This might be the only movie I’ve done that doesn’t have a Vegas sequence.
CS: And ironically Jon Favreau is in this.
Rudd: I know, that’s true, I think the whole thing takes place in Southern California.
CS: Adam McKay recently mentioned something about wanting to get an “Anchorman 2” going, I don’t know if he was joking or not, serious.
Rudd: I saw that, I think that it would be awesome, I would be in there for sure, and I emailed him afterwards, I think he was serious. I don’t think there’s a script or anything like that, I don’t know if there’s been any ideas, and it was so fun to do and I saw him recently and we were just talking about what a blast that was, so hopefully.
CS: That film was kind of ground zero for what is going on now with of a lot of Judd, the freedom to make the kind of films he’s making, and for a lot of you guys, it just kind of exposed you to a wider audience so now you can kind of mix and match and do these kind of all star comedy ensembles.
Rudd: Yeah, it was really the most incredible thing to be a part of that, and it changed my life for sure, these last few years all these movies I’ve worked on have stemmed from that really, that crew, and also they’ve been a lot of fun. Since “Anchorman”, it seems like working with Judd, there’s a way of making them that’s different than anything I’d ever worked on up to that point, and creatively it’s fulfilling in ways that other things aren’t, and I’m just blown away by how funny all those guys are, to sit and listen to McKay and Will Ferrell talk is so intimidating because it’s so crazy and funny and smart.
CS: What’s next?
Rudd: I have no idea.
CS: One day at a time.
Rudd: We finish this in a couple weeks I think and then I don’t know, there’s talk of this strike, so we’ll see if that actually happens. I hope not, but I kind of wanted to take a little time off, I feel I was kind of overdue, I worked on a movie last year that we’re gonna do about a week of reshoots on, to add some additional scenes for it and that comes out, I have no idea when.
CS: Is that the David Wains film?
Rudd: Yeah, it’s with David, the working title is “Little Big Men,” I don’t think that that’ll be the actual title of the movie, I don’t think the title has really been decided.
CS: I remember that film being set up at first Luke Greenfield was going to direct and it went through several permutations.
Rudd: It went through several, yeah, a lot, I think even before Luke Greenfield was involved. Then it was several writers and then I wrote a version of it, and then David came on and we worked on a version of it together, and so it was kind of constantly changing and yet actually I think at the end of the day it turned out pretty well, we had a screening of it, and seen where it’s at right now, I think everyone feels pretty good about it, so hopefully it’ll work out.