Stop Asking Paul Rudd Why He’s Doing Theater

Paul Rudd is best known for his comedic roles in films like Our Idiot Brother, I Love You, Man, and Knocked Up.  But his next part is a huge departure—he’ll be appearing in a Broadway production of the dramatic play, Grace.

“I was kind of antsy,” the actor told Yahoo! News.  “I was, I think, kind of finally hitting a place where I thought, ‘I just want to try something a little different.’  And not just with the genre but even the medium.  I’ve always tried to do things that were meaningful in some ways to me that hopefully wouldn’t suck.  I haven’t always avoided that but, for the most part, I try to do things on my own terms as much as possible.”

In Grace, Rudd will portray an evangelical Christian who undergoes a crisis of faith.  “I was drawn to the character because it’s a different character for me and certainly different than anything I’ve played in the last several years,” he said.  “I thought it was bold and fresh and something I hadn’t seen before.”

While Rudd has appeared in other theater productions, like Twelfth Night and The Shape of Things, people are still surprised to learn he’s returning to the stage.  Rudd noted, “Two people today have asked me that same question.  ‘Why come back?’  ‘Why are you back?’  As if theater is something you do until you’re able to get a job in movies and television.  I’ve never felt that.  I mean, I live in this city and the reason I moved here 17 years ago was to do plays.”

In fact, Rudd is glad to be back in the theater world.  “One of the things I love about doing plays in New York is to feel a part of the city and part of a community that’s really vital and tight-knit,” he said.  “I wanted to be back in that.  I wanted to go get a drink after the show and run into the cast of The Book of Mormon.  And just see other people who do shows and say, ‘Hey, how was your show tonight?’  There’s a feeling that I think is very grounding and makes me feel sane and included and it’s fun.”

But not all of theater is fun.  Regarding his role in The Long Day’s Journey into Night in London back in 2000, Rudd recalled, “While I was very happy that I did it, and it was an enriching, profound experience, ‘fun’ is not a word I would use to describe it.  I was just bummed out all the time.  This play is an hour-and-a-half and it’s a thrill ride.  So hopefully I won’t be a wreck walking around when we’re not doing the show.”

Grace is set to open on October 4.

Leave a Reply
William H. Macy: “This may sound pretentious, but I am getting better at what I do every day”
"I love the fact that I work every day." - William H. Macy
Luke Hemsworth on ‘Westworld’: “It was a no-brainer to me. I was absolutely going to jump onboard”
"As an actor, if you're given very little information about what's going on, then you're forced to make it up." - Luke Hemsworth
Khary Payton on His ‘Walking Dead’ Audition: “It was one of the more substantial auditions I’ve ever done”
"I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again..." - Khary Payton
Hayley Atwell’s Best Career Advice: “I’d say the main thing is: show up. Show up and be professional”
Atwell reflects on her career and recounts why she wanted to become an actress since she was a child and what was the best career advice she ever received.
Mike Colter on Playing ‘Luke Cage’: “I was looking at it from the standpoint of an artist”
Colter says that it didn't take long for him to understand the importance of the character in comic book history.