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Paul Rudd tells a cool story about moving to New York, a less cool one about being buried alive

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Paul Rudd, Jimmy Kimmel
Paul Rudd, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Paul Rudd is a clone of Paul Rudd in his new Netflix series Living With Yourself, which honestly sounds as plausible a reason as any that the actual Rudd famously refuses to show his age. Seriously, a Parts: The Clonus Horror/The Island-style Paul Rudd factory churning out replacement Rudds—think about it. Regardless, Rudd appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday to promote the show (which he can’t really talk about), the inevitable next Ant-Man movie (which he can’t talk about), and his role in Jason Reitman’s family-business Ghostbusters sequel (which he really, really can’t talk about). And yet, Rudd filled two full segments telling very little about his current work, but a very cool story about what can only be the divine intervention that led him to move to New York 25 years ago (when he still looked exactly the same as he does now).

Telling Kimmel that he’d been thinking of moving to New York for the theater scene, Rudd related how, flying to the city for an audition, he hurriedly started memorizing a monologue from a favorite movie. Distractedly mumbling his lines on the way to the audition, he bumped into the one guy in a city of millions who not only serendipitously starred in that exact movie, but who also gave Rudd the offhand advice that led to Rudd finally taking the big leap and moving there. In Rudd’s telling, it was just another day in the charmed life of a possible immortal being, but it got a shocked offscreen “No!” from one of Kimmel’s heard-it-all crew, so that’s pretty cool.

As to Ant-Man, Rudd would not say anything about Robert Downey Jr’s fate. And on Ghostbusters, apart from noting that he’s just finished shooting his role, Rudd wouldn’t say anything about the plot (not even if it has ghosts in it), and failed to fall into Kimmel’s trickster question about what it was like working with Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray (or even Ernie Hudson). He gave up a little bit more about Living With Yourself—clones—but did share one of the less glamorous aspects of the gig, being buried alive in a public park during the day while wearing a diaper and breathing through a tube in the dirt. Perhaps reflecting on his life choices, Rudd explained how reading the script really didn’t prepare him for the opening scene, when he’d actually be sucking in life-giving air through a snorkel while people shoveled actual dirt onto his face. “The natural instinct in all of us knows that’s bad,” was how Rudd described the mounting anxiety of literally being buried alive. While wearing a diaper. Someone call for a replacement Rudd, just in case.


Living With Yourself premieres Friday on Netflix.