I think I speak for many women out there when I say — huh?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Paul Rudd! Paul, if you’re reading this, I’d pepper you with compliments if I could: You’re adorable, cute-as-a-button, seemingly ageless, charming, delightful, mensch-y, endlessly affable.
You’re just not sexy.
Yes, “sexy” comes in many forms — but “Ant-Man” isn’t one of them. And it appears that this is something Rudd himself is acutely aware of.
“This is not false humility,” Rudd told People in his Sexiest Man Alive cover story. “There are so many people that should get this before me.”
I’m with you, Paul. Exhibit number one: Regé-Jean Page.
Doesn’t the swaggering “Bridgerton” star seem like the obvious choice this year? The man managed to make the simple act of licking a spoon into something so lascivious that the lucky utensil even has its own Instagram account.
Past honorees like Chris Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, David Beckham and Matthew McConaughey all possess a similar vibe: just a hint of bad boy (or at the very least, a mischievous one) — the kind of man who’ll take you to a bar, down dirty martinis, and then top it off with a wild all-night romp.
Paul Rudd’s vibe is — how shall I put this? — more grounding. I picture curling up to binge “You” with him, or watching Seasons 1 through 5 of “The Office” for the 37th time while Paul is cuddled up next to me, both clad in our comfies, snacking on potato chips and warm apple cider.
And I feel I speak on this from a position of authority. Several years ago, the New Jersey-born actor, 52, told me at his annual All-Star Bowling Benefit for The Stuttering Association For The Young that he cried on a plane while watching a documentary about the organization’s summer camp.
“I was a mess, it was gross,” he confessed.
He went on to admit that he also publicly wept while watching the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and the Hugh Jackman/Meg Ryan time-travel rom-com “Kate & Leopold.”
“I don’t say that proudly,” he said. “I’ve got to believe there was something in the [airplane’s] pressurization.”
I’d love to clutch you and cry too, Paul! But not in a sexy way.
Rudd has been happily married to wife Julie, 53, for 18 years and the couple shares two kids: Jack, 17, and daughter Darby, 12. What does she think of her husband’s latest honor?
“She was stupefied,” Rudd told People. “But you know she was very sweet about it. After some giggling and shock, she said ‘Oh, they got it right.’ And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what’s she going to say?”
So what was the magazine thinking? Perhaps it has something to do with with the fact that Rudd has not one, but two projects to promote right now.
He plays Mr. Grooberson in the eagerly awaited “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and plays a manipulative psychiatrist opposite Will Ferrell in the new Apple TV+ series “The Shrink Next Door.” (Page, on the other hand, doesn’t have anything coming out till next year’s thriller “The Gray Man,” so we’ll be on the lookout for his SMA title then).
Then again, perhaps, the choice is a sign of our troubling times.
If you, like me, lie awake in bed at night, worrying about the ravages of COVID-19 and climate change (to name a few), then perhaps you’re also looking for solace instead of excitement.
And maybe Paul Rudd is like a cozy cashmere blanket, one that just happens to have green eyes that crinkle at the edges when he smiles.
Just thinking about it makes me feel better. Is the title for Most Comforting Man Alive available?