Paul Rudd might be starring in a movie titled Our Idiot Brother, but count the actor himself as one who doesn’t think that the character he plays really is an idiot.
Rudd tells Go Erie that he feels that the idealistic free-spirited Ned isn’t stupid, but that he was “naive in some ways, but in other ways enlightened; he’s a guy that is self-aware. This principle he tries to uphold, seeing the best in people, by choosing that as an ethos, it makes him not an idiot, more of an idealist. … I liked this person, and I thought that would be a fun thing to play.”
Rudd doesn’t just have kind words about his character, but also for frequent collaborator Judd Apatow. Apatow — who has directed Rudd in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and the upcoming This is Forty and has produced other projects featuring him — gets high praise from Rudd, who says, “From a creative standpoint, he directs in a way no one I’ve ever worked with directs. I feel like my approach to acting is different from having worked with him. The freedom he gives actors is really incredible. If we want to add stuff, we get to do it. We’re not just standing on the mark and saying the line.” Of course, anyone who has seen the outtakes from the various Apatow-Rudd collaborations knows that Rudd might be at his best when he improvises. As for any advice Rudd has for aspiring actors? “Write thank you notes. Which I think is a good life thing.” After all, it is another opportunity to get one’s name in the had of the person making the decision of who gets the part or not. Being polite, of course, can go a long way in any aspect of life — including your career!