Though Paul Rudd is likely gearing up for the release of This is Forty, his latest film with frequent collaborator writer/director Judd Apatow, audiences can see him on stage in New York in Grace. Rudd plays a born-again businessman who moves to Florida in order to start a chain of gospel-themed hotels. I thought he was wonderful in the play (you can check out my review here), although the play has driven at least one person to vomiting (although, to be fair, that probably had little to do with the play itself).
In an interview with The New York Times, Rudd talks about his character and why he continues to appear on stage despite being a comedy movie star.
Since his character in the play is deeply religious but, as a consequence, also very pushy about his beliefs, the character has been described as unlikable — a description that Rudd doesn’t necessarily agree with. He explains, “I’ve never quite understood the whole thing about ‘likable’ and ‘unlikable.’ I know that sometimes when you read a script or studios are deciding about things, it’s like, ‘This character is unlikable,’ or ‘He’s unlikable; you’ve got to make him likable.’ I don’t quite get what that means. Everybody has moments of likability and unlikablity. I’m more interested in relatability.” Read more
Imagine you’re on stage, acting your butt off when some guy in the balcony leans over and blows chunks into the orchestra section below. As we wrote yesterday, that’s exactly what happened to Paul Rudd last week during a performance of Grace.
On last night’s Late Show with David Letterman, Rudd came on to present his ‘Top Ten Thoughts’ that went through his mind when it happened. My favorite is in the screen shot on the right – “I’ll never complain about a cell phone ringing again.”
I’m planning to see this show in a couple weeks when I’m in NYC and I really hope I get the non-vomiting seats.
Check it out below! Read more
‘Grace’ Cast Keeps the Show Going Despite Audience Member in the Balcony Throwing Up on Audience Members in the Orchestra
Perhaps Gallagher was on to something with that whole “hand ponchos out to the audience” thing for his comedy shows.
During the November 14 performance of Grace, the Broadway play starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, and Ed Asner (which I reviewed here!), a person in the first row of the balcony who was “reportedly drunk and appeared to be elderly” threw up over the edge of the balcony onto audience members in the orchestra below. The male audience member responsible then collapsed, though Gothamist says the man eventually returned to his seat (and also suggests that he wasn’t drunk. Hmm…) Read more
Two woman walked by me on their way out of the theater after seeing Grace starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon at the Cort Theatre. One of the women turned to the other and said, “I thought it was supposed to be a comedy.” She then added “But I’m glad it wasn’t.”
Indeed, though there are moments of great humor in Grace, which was written by Craig Wright (who has also written episodes of TV’s Six Feet Under and Lost), this forceful drama is about the influence of God (or lack thereof) on the paths of our lives.
Grace takes place in two identical condos next door to each other in Florida and opens with its ending, in which two of the main characters are murdered and a third, the shooter, commits suicide. This scene is “rewound” and played both forwards and backwards by the cast, a technique that is used later in the play during another key scene. After this grisly opening the story goes back several weeks to establish the characters we have just seen brutally gunned down. Read more
Paul Rudd Went Back to Broadway Because “The Character is Different From The Kind I’ve Usually Played”
“I loved the idea of working with Michael,” Rudd said in an interview with USA Today. “I hadn’t felt a burning desire to do another play, just for the sake of doing one. But I thought this was really interesting. And the character is different from the kind I’ve usually played.”
However, the theater world offers different challenges from working in Hollywood. The play itself presented some obstacles. “There are sections where things move backwards in time,” he said. “And the language is different—very specific and contemporary, with speeches that are like giant run-on sentences. I usually memorize lines pretty quickly, but these were hard to learn.” Read more
Ed Asner Talks Going Back to Broadway in ‘Grace’ and Working in His 80′s: “If I can’t act, I may as well be lowered in a box”
“We’ve had some difficulties during the rehearsal process, but our interrelationships are magnificent,” the 82-year-old told Broadway.com. “It’s a mutual admiration society. Before the show, I had never seen either Paul or Mike in anything. Since then, I’ve seen Mike in Boardwalk Empire and in Premium Rush. I thought he was beautiful. Well, ‘beautiful’ is not a word you use for Michael Shannon.”
Asner noted that Grace was the play to bring him back to the theater world because “it’s the first time I was asked. I never got another offer for a Broadway appearance after Born Yesterday with Madeline Kahn. I got offers to tour, but that was limited, as well. When Grace came up, I was intimidated to pick up roots and leave for such a long time.” Read more
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.” Read more
‘Grace’ stars Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Ed Asner & Kate Arrington Discuss their New Broadway Play (video)
Grace is about a couple (Rudd and Arrington) with big plans to open a chain of Gospel-themed motels. When an agitated rocket scientist (Shannon) and a prickly pest-control man (Asner) enter the picture, the couple’s world is thrown into utter chaos.
I read the play and can’t wait to see the show with these actors in it. It’s at times funny and sad and I think the casting is perfect. Click here to buy the play.
As funny of a guy as Paul Rudd is, when he takes the lead in a film the box office isn’t always there. His last three starring roles — Wanderlust, Our Idiot Brother, and How Do You Know — all underperformed. So it’s a good thing that Rudd is more than just a movie actor, since he is making a return to Broadway after several years in movies to star in Grace alongside Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, and Ed Asner.
He spoke to Playbill about coming back to his theatrical roots and what he loves about being involved in a stage production
“Grace deals with very big questions. And any time you can spend with the big questions is time well spent.” Stopping himself from sounding too pretentious, he quickly adds, “Oh! People will read that and think I’m like Frank Langella, and not some imbecile who makes fart jokes.” Read more
The show, also starring Ed Asner and Kate Arrington, follows a wide-eyed young couple (Rudd & Arrington) as they start a new life in sunny, promise-filled Florida, with big plans to open a chain of Gospel motels. An agitated neighbor (Shannon) and a caustic exterminator (Asner) complete the eclectic foursome as destinies collide in this intensely entertaining and suspenseful journey to the edge of your seat. Read more