Sundance: Paul Rudd on ‘My Idiot Brother’

Paul Rudd talks comedy at the Sundance Film Festival.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Sundance: Paul Rudd on 'My Idiot Brother'

The next Paul Rudd comedy, My Idiot Brother, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Rudd was there to give interviews about playing the idiot brother. Ned (Rudd) doesn’t always understand what’s going on but he genuinely likes people. Knowing Rudd is a great improviser in the Judd Apatow movies, I tried to get him going when I jumped in with questions.


CraveOnline: We know you’re great at improv. When the character can’t be as smart as you actually are, does that change things when you improv?


Paul Rudd: I think this character, it’s not really addressing the question that much, but I think the character is actually very smart. I think that one of the misnomers is that you see this title and you look at the way I look in the movie and think it’s some kind of stoner idiot that I’m playing. In actuality, I think he’s a very sharp guy and makes a conscious decision to live his life a certain way.


CraveOnline: So he’s spiritually smart because he gets how to relate to people.


Paul Rudd: Yeah, and also live his life in a way that I think he has very little baggage. He doesn’t go unaffected by the stresses and disappointments and it comes out in a little flash, but yeah, spiritual might be a way to describe it. It’s certainly an enlightened approach.


CraveOnline: He wouldn’t reference Steely Dan like you would though, right?


Paul Rudd: You don’t think so? I think he would but I think if he did, I think he’d reference probably something off of Can’t Buy a Thrill and go for the really weird, like Brooklyn. It’s not a guy who would make references of pop culture. It’s a different kind of guy.


CraveOnline: How excited are you for the Knocked Up spinoff?


Paul Rudd: Oh, I’m excited. I really like working with Judd obviously. They’re fun experiences. It’ll be interesting. I’ve never done a character more than once, even though it’s a totally different story and storyline and set of circumstances, some of which I don’t really know actually yet. I just talked to Judd and he said, “Let’s do this.”


CraveOnline: Do you think it’s a good idea to use the established characters instead of starting over?


Paul Rudd: And do another movie? We do those too. I don’t know, I hope so. We’ll see. I liked playing that part and Judd I think felt he had more maybe that he wanted to say with those people so yeah. Some of it you just kind of go, “Oh, that will be an interesting experience and one that could very well be enjoyable.” I’m guessing by past experiences that it will be.


CraveOnline: There’s a good precedent for spin-offs though. Billy Jack was a spinoff of Born Losers and they made two sequels.


Paul Rudd: Yeah, even a spinoff, is it a spinoff if it’s just the same characters? Is that technically what it is? I remember the spinoff they tried to make of The Brady Bunch with Robbie Rist as Oliver and I loved that episode but it only lasted one. It didn’t work I guess as a spinoff.


CraveOnline: Do you think Seth Rogen will be in it?


Paul Rudd: I have no idea. Seth doesn’t know.