There was a time when Paul Rudd might have been considered a comedic secret weapon that only those in the know were privy to. But as his supporting roles in Judd Apatow films like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” have found a wider audience, so too has his reputation as a go-to scene-stealer.
In November, Rudd takes center stage alongside another Apatow vet, “Superbad” breakout star Christopher Mintz-Plasse (you know him as McLovin), in “Role Models.” As the movie’s trailer hits theaters with “Pineapple Express,” MTV News caught up with Rudd to discuss the film, his increasingly curmudgeonly ways and whether he’s going to be a Ghostbuster.
MTV: Your upcoming film, “Role Models,” just debuted a trailer. What can you tell me about your character?
Rudd: The character strikes a nerve with me. I got to write it, so I got to put in all of the things that I really hate, and there are a lot of things I just hate. This character is not happy with his life, and little things kind of set him off — things like coffee sizes. Venti? Whatever happened to small, medium and large?
MTV: You seem like a relatively jovial person.
Rudd: At times I feel like I am, but as I get older I just become more and more begrudging. My dad hates everybody. I respect that. I like old men who just bitch and moan about everything. I think it’s funny.
MTV: You play a mentor to Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character in it. Have you ever been a mentor to anyone?
Rudd: I was a camp counselor for first-grade boys at a Jewish day camp. I did it for a few weeks, and then I just left. I left these kids high and dry with only a week to go. They were all on Ritalin and traded Garbage Pail Kid stickers. That was their thing. That’s all that they did. They would get in fights with each other, and I would just let them have it out.
MTV: Did people call Christopher “McLovin” on the set?
Rudd: People call him McLovin all of the time. And the same thing with Seann William Scott. He would still get [called] Stifler.
MTV: What do people call you on the set?
Rudd: Jewboy. Which is weird, because I’m usually working with a ton [of Jews].
Rudd: I’ve heard this rumor. A couple of days ago somebody asked me that, and that was the first I’d heard about it. It’s incredibly flattering to be in a rumor. I would do it in a second with those guys. But do you think it’s a good idea to redo “Ghostbusters”? It’s a classic.
MTV: Even if it’s a rumor, it’s a nice quartet of actors.
Rudd: [Sarcastically] I am really excited about it.
MTV: We’ve green-lit it right here.
Rudd: Excellent. When do we start shooting?
MTV: Are you going to do the Bill Murray role or Dan Aykroyd’s, or perhaps Rick Moranis. Or maybe we can mix in the sequel and I can do a Peter MacNicol thing. I remember thinking, “That’s the same guy from ’Sophie’s Choice.’ ” It seemed so weird.
MTV: Last time we spoke, you admitted to a lifelong fear of condiments. I don’t want to get you upset …
[A tray of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise is brought out.]
Rudd: Oh my God. You’ve done this? I feel like I’m on “Howard Stern.” I can’t even look at it. [He looks at the tray.] This mustard is so disgusting. It looks like guacamole. And that is either mayonnaise or frosting. This smells like a bad picnic.
MTV: So I take it you’re not any better with this stuff than you were?
Rudd: I hate all of that. I had a friend who had the same kind of reaction to condiments, but the idea of ketchup and mustard mixed together was so awful to him that we’d sit around and describe it and we’d make him throw up. [He laughs.] I get it.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Role Models.”
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