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Paul Rudd: The Wind Beneath Her Wings


When Hollywood producers need a guy who can save his family they cast Harrison Ford. But when they're looking for a guy to be overshadowed by a female lead, they call the woman's wingman, Paul Rudd. While Rudd is a talented actor is his own right, with an impressive comedic resume, it seems like he's always top pick for any production where a woman needs to shine. Take his new Broadway show with Julia Roberts. Yes he's in it too, and he's probably pretty good, but that's not important. This is Julia's vehicle and Paul is there to non-threateningly enhance her glow (and her acting).

More proof that Paul's the woman's wingman after the jump...

Remember Paul's first big role in the Alicia Silverstone vehicle Clueless, where his character Josh served to make soulless Cher seem a little bit more human?  And in Jennifer Aniston's early vehicle the Object of my Affection where his ambiguously gay leading man served mainly to show how strong (yet pretty in sundresses) a woman can be without a man. He's the hired gun for making any actress seem empowered.

He will never be the guy in the movie who throws anyone down on a bed, or breaks free of ropes to rescue a child, and he'll never be the guy who negotiates with terrorists, gambles in Monaco or runs ice over Scarlett Johannson's lips. But what he will be is a nice guy (possibly holding a bouquet of daisies) who wants to make a promise to the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. Perhaps it's his petite-ness or his saucer-shaped eyes that emote heartbreak and adoration in equal parts.  But whenever there's a vehicle for a female actress, he'll be there. That's the Paul Rudd promise.

April 20, 2006 in Celebrity | Permalink


Two exceptions: Anchorman and The Forty Year-Old Virgin. He was hysterical and wasn't overshadowed by his female counterparts.

Posted by: Megan | Apr 20, 2006 3:10:59 PM

totally, as mentioned, he's a wonderful comedic actor--just as harrison ford is a great space hero. but they both have niches that they easily fall into. rudd's just happens to be a less a niche and more of a hole.

Posted by: piper | Apr 20, 2006 3:18:13 PM

I don't know... he tramples all over janeane garofalo's performance in Wet Hot American Summer!!! That cafeteria scene... oscar worthy.

Posted by: izzy | Apr 20, 2006 3:30:19 PM

He's pretty dominant in my favorite movie of all time, Wet Hot American Summer. Watch him use girls, throw them away, then have them come back for more! "You taste like burger, I don't like you anymore."

Posted by: bibberly | Apr 20, 2006 3:36:08 PM

i love paul rudd...

Posted by: Caitlin | Apr 20, 2006 9:15:05 PM

Whatevs, kittens. Paul Rudd is still massive sexy in my booklet.

Posted by: RSL | Apr 21, 2006 8:54:44 AM

I guess a case can be made that he is often overshadowed by female costars, but I think you missed the boat on this one. The real wingman is Dermot Mulroney. Really. He's been a big fixture in movies for over 15 years and he still hasn't broken through into leading man status because almost every movie he makes, he has the supporting 'girl' role. Let's take a look at some of his movies and the female star he supported (who all had higher billing than him as well), shall we?

Samantha (Martha Plimpton)
Point Of No Return (Bridget Fonda)
The Thing Called Love (Samantha Mathis AND Sandra Bullock))
Bad Girls (Madeleine Stowe, Andie McDowell, Drew Barrymore AND Mary Stuart Masterson)
Living In Oblivion (Catherine Keener - his ex wife)
How To Make An American Quilt (Winona Ryder)
Copycat (Holly Hunter AND Sigourney Weaver)
Kansas City (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
Bastard Out Of Carolina (Jennifer Jason Leigh)
The Trigger Effect (Elizabeth Shue)
My Best Friend's Wedding (Cameron Diaz AND Julia Roberts)
Goodbye Lover (Patricia Arquette)
Where The Money Is (Linda Fiorentino)
Trixie (Emily Watson)
About Schmidt (Hope Davis AND Kathy Bates)
Friends - TV (Jennifer Aniston)
The Wedding Date (Debra Messing)
Must Love Dogs (Diane Lane)
The Family Stone (Sarah Jessica Parker AND Diane Keaton)

Seriously, has he ever done a movie where he hasn't taken lower billing and a supporting role to an A or B level female lead? Paul Rudd may be heading in the same direction, but I would be shocked if you could come up with another actor than Mulroney who has played more second fiddle roles to Hollywood actresses than him.

Posted by: Tallsonofagun | Apr 24, 2006 2:06:10 PM

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