Stargazing

Universal thought Paul Rudd was ‘too fat’ in ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’

Paul Rudd, who grew up in Overland Park, landed his biggest role yet as the tiny titular superhero in “Ant-Man,” opening Friday. Here he is walking the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere.
Paul Rudd, who grew up in Overland Park, landed his biggest role yet as the tiny titular superhero in “Ant-Man,” opening Friday. Here he is walking the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere. Invision/AP

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is just one of many films Overland Park native Paul Rudd has acted in.

But it almost didn’t get made.

Judd Apatow, who directed the film, detailed the drama between the actors and Universal Studios in his book “Sick in the Head.”

In Apatow’s book, he talks about how Steve Carell had to alter the way he played his character, Andy, because Universal thought he looked like “a serial killer.”

Ouch.

In a recent interview with Conan O’Brien, Carell went into more detail.

“After the first week, Universal pulled the plug,” Carell said. “We were doing a scene on location somewhere and Judd Apatow... came in and said ... ‘They’re shutting us down’.”

“I was so bummed out,” Carell told O’Brien. “I thought, ‘that’s it.’”

But Carell wasn’t the only actor criticized for his looks.

“They thought Paul Rudd was fat,” Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann, said in the book.

“Paul went on a diet. He literally stopped eating. If you look at Paul Rudd in the speed-dating sequence compared to the rest, he’s, like, ten pounds heavier. Then in the rest of the movie his hair looks cute and he’s thinner.”

Luckily for Rudd, his acting career turned out just fine.

And ten years later, he was still able to fit into that Ant-Man costume.

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