How can a movie fan not like Paul Rudd? The always smiling, always young-looking actor turns 52 today (April 6). Hard to believe, right?
From his early career on Broadway and in television, to starring in blockbuster superhero movies, the son of British-born Jewish parents is a jack of all trades. In honor of his birthday, here are five movies he’s been in that are worth the watch to celebrate his 52nd trip around the sun.
1. “Avengers: Endgame”
In the culmination movie of a 10-year cinematic journey, Rudd’s Scott Lang plays a pivotal role in the plot of this superhero blockbuster. Obviously, it helps to have been along for the journey in this movie, but a new fan can always find something to enjoy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whether it’s amazing special effects, hard-hitting emotional moments, or the quippy comedic dialogue that Rudd provides.
2. “The 40-year-old Virgin”
Rudd plays a supporting role to Steve Carrell’s star turn in this 2005 comedy, which marks Judd Apatow’s directorial debut. Here, Rudd is casted alongside the likes of Seth Rogen and Romany Malco to help Carrell’s Andy Stitzer gain a little more luck with the ladies. The screenplay features a lot of improvised, laugh-out-loud moments of dialogue, including one of the funniest improvised scenes of recent memory, in which Carrell gets his chest waxed in real time.
3. “Wet Hot American Summer”
Along with another ensemble cast, Rudd stars in this 2001 satirical comedy about the last full day of a fictional summer camp in 1981, as the film takes inspiration from the sex comedies aimed at teen audiences of that era. At the time of its release, this film was a critical and box office failure, but has since developed a cult following among those who have gone through similar experiences at a summer camp of their own. In fact, Netflix revived the franchise with the release of a prequel series by the same name, starring most of the film’s original cast members.
4. “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”
For fans of comedy, most people will remember the phrase, “60% of the time, it works every time.” That’s exactly what Rudd brings to this Adam McKay comedy, along with the likes of Carrell, Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner and Fred Willard. The film is a tongue-in-cheek take on 1970s culture and broadcast news, where Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy clashes with his new female counterpart, played by Applegate.
5. “The Fundamentals of Caring”
To round out this list, here is one of Rudd’s more serious roles, while still leaning on his comedy roots. This 2016 road dramedy was based on the 2012 novel “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,” which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix in June 2016. Rudd stars as an out-of-work writer in Seattle who becomes a registered caregiver of an 18-year-old boy, played by Craig Roberts, with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Alongside Roberts and Selena Gomez, Rudd shows off some of his more serious acting chops, while still delivering the laughs in this underrated film.