Paul Rudd Interview For David Wain’s ‘Wanderlust’
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in ‘Wanderlust,’ a raucous comedy from director David Wain (Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer) and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) about a couple who leaves the pressures of the big city and joins a freewheeling community where the only rule is to be yourself. George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are an overextended, stressed out couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George’s awful brother in Atlanta. On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colourful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things. ‘Wanderlust’ stars Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, Lauren Ambrose, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and Alan Alda. The film is set for release February 24th in the US, and March 2nd in the UK.
You’ve starred in all of David Wain’s films. What keeps that actor-director relationship going?
Paul Rudd: For me, I’m a huge David Wain fan. And he’s one of my best friends now, he just makes me laugh continually, much to the annoyance of his wife actually. She’s like, “Don’t encourage him,” when we have dinner and stuff (laughs). I just think he’s got a very specific sensibility that is unlike anybody’s I’ve ever met. I happen to think that he’s a really talented filmmaker.
You can definitely tell ‘Wanderlust’ is a David Wain film….
Paul Rudd: Yeah, I think that anybone who’s familiar with David Wain’s sensibility, and some of the stuff he’s made in the past, from ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ or ‘Stella,’ they know that he has a very specific take on things. ‘Wanderlust’ is a movie that I think also falls into that category, yet it was expanded into something that could actually have some sort of commercial appeal (laughs). ‘Wanderlust’ can be fairly extreme and irreverent. It’s just a crazy crazy story that is hopefully the perfect match of distinct comedy, and an accessible story.
Given your history with David, do you go into the movie knowing that you have that freedom?
Paul Rudd: Oh yeah. We’ve worked together enough that we’re kind of like, “Oh, lets try this and this.” We can share a brain a little bit, but that style actually is more Judd Apatow than David Wain. The first time I worked with David was on ‘Wet Hot American Summer.’ A lot of people have asked us, “God, you guys must’ve improvised a tonne,” and actually we really didn’t. Most of that was written. I think David’s history and the way he’s always worked has actually been to write a pretty tight script. Judd writes a script and it’s tight and it focuses on jokes, but he loves to just keep cameras going and see what happens, yell out direction while we’re filming – yell out a line here and there. He kind of shapes it and directs it as it’s going on and conducts it like an orchestra. I’ve noticed with David, and I’ve noticed this with other directors that I’ve worked with more than once, that that way of working seems to be becoming a little bit more mainstream, a little bit more of the norm. It’s kind of the way that I have now started to work on these things. So, that I would say is actually more of a Judd influence than anything else.
You get to work on this ensemble movie, in a small town, with actors you’ve worked with before, a director you’re close friends with, and then characters that have many sides and quirks to them. I can imagine that being a lot of fun.
Paul Rudd: Definitely (laughs). There seemed to be lots of mood swings, a lot of these characters have crazy mood swings (laughs). That’s really fun because someone like Joe Lo Truglio, or Kathryn Hahn, these people I’ve worked with many times, they’re all people that are so good. And you never know what they’re going to do, they give so much to these characters.
The camaraderie was truly genuine. There’s something about being sequestered in a small town in Georgia. We felt it going in, “Maybe this could be like a bonding experience?” Because we knew we were all going to hang out together. And also a lot of us were friends to begin with, and like you said I’d worked with a load of them before. Then people I’d never met before, like Jordan Peele, I certainly thought he was hilarious before I met him, I was a fan his. It was great to get to know him, get to hang out with him, just sit around and laugh at all the things he says. Also, Lauren Ambrose, she’s so funny. Lauren is so good, she has real acting chops, she’s an amazing actress, she played that role so….she has a sort of authorial quality to her, this soft spoken, nymph, sprightly, sort of angel. And then she starts these guttural moans and these wild things, it’s great, so weird (laughs). Then of course Jennifer Aniston, she was a riot, Jennifer’s really cool.
And then you’ve also got Alan Alda on-board in ‘Wanderlust’ ….
Paul Rudd: I think you’ll be pretty hard pressed to find somebody who doesn’t love Alan Alda. In fact, when ‘Wanderlust’ was coming about and Alan signed on to do it, we were all over the moon. I couldn’t believe he said yes. And then when we’d tell people, “Yeah, Alan Alda’s in the movie.” Everyone would reply, “Oh god, I love Alan Alda!” He’s just universally loved. I also think he adds that air of authenticity to our movie, because he’s really the only one who you haven’t seen make boner jokes (laughs).
With the current financial issues much of the world is facing, Linda and George’s situation is pretty relatable at this moment in time, unfortunately?
Paul Rudd: Yeah, they’re financially strapped, they’re hanging by a thread. They have to figure out how to refigure and redefine how they want to live their lives. I think, certainly in this moment in history, it’s a pretty relatable scenario, unfortunately. I think that aspect is hopefully intriguing to people because Linda and George find this amazing place. We reconnect with what is important in our lives, important in our relationship, and decide that maybe we can figure out a new way of living. I think that’s an interesting question for a lot of people to ask.
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