Ant-Man and the Wasp Paul Rudd interview

On a nice September day at Pinewood Studios outside of Atlanta, a handful of journalists and I spoke with one of Marvel’s smallest superheroes on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp. The effervescent Paul Rudd, who often radiates boundless energy on screen, seemed, well, a little exhausted. It’s hard to blame him – at the time, he was in the middle of filming two major Marvel movies simultaneously, bouncing back and forth between the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp and the Russo Brothers’ Avengers 4 (which was also filming at the same production facility).

Despite what must have been a monumentally busy day, the actor/writer was nice enough to make time to chat with us in between takes and still managed to crack a few jokes in the process. The man who plays reformed thief Scott Lang explained what Scott’s up to when we meet him in director Peyton Reed’s sequel, the character’s new suit, working closer with the Wasp this time, the challenges of co-writing the screenplay, and much more. Read on for our full Ant-Man and the Wasp Paul Rudd interview.

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Scott Lang and Cassie

Ant-Man and the Wasp Paul Rudd Interview

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Where does this film pick up?

Paul Rudd: I have no idea what I’m allowed to say and what I’m not allowed to say. You guys don’t care. Where it picks up for me…I’m just gonna give you all a blanket apology as far as not answering anything. So it’s a few years after. It’s almost in real time. [Scott is] kind of out of the loop. [He’s] in house arrest. And after the events of Civil War, where [he] was obviously kind of found out, [Scott is] now trying to just be as good of a dad as [he] can be and [he hasn’t] really talked to Hank or Hope. So we start where [he’s] kind of finishing the sentence in a way, and boy, I tell you, just when you think you’re out, they pull you right back in.

Do any of your co-workers at X-Con security give you shit for Spider-Man beating you up because the video is on YouTube?

Well, I think we’ve missed a big opportunity in script writing. (laughs) No, nobody has said anything about that. He does, doesn’t he?

You co-wrote the first Ant-Man movie. How involved were you in this one with the writing?

Quite a bit. It’s been going on for a while, but it’s also this behemoth of a thing that’s always changing and incorporating new ideas, and they’re also always developing one movie along with many others, so different ideas are kind of changing. So we’re still in writers’ rooms – we have the script now, but we’re constantly trying different things and Marvel is really cool about that. They say, ‘Let’s try this, look at this idea. Let’s try and pursue it and if it works, great, and if it doesn’t, we’ll have other options.’

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Reed, Rudd, Lilly

Ant-Man was all about Scott. This time, you have Ant-Man and Hope. How does the movie go back and forth between you and Hope as it tries to balance the story?

It’s great. It’s such a fun story, it’s weird – it’s a weird movie in every great way, I think. But it’s nice because we have this new hero that we’ve already learned about in the first one and now we get to kind of play off of each other and you see a partnership also developed, which is great.

Can you talk a little bit about what he’s thinking after everything that went down in Civil War? We know Scott doesn’t really want to be a hero. He wants to step away. Can you talk a little bit about that on a personal level?

I like the idea of playing a superhero that is not innately heroic or super in any way – just, you know, a regular person. And I like the idea also of not embracing the role because of all of the difficulties that come along with having to be so badass, and how it would affect your life and how would it affect your relationships and certainly your being a responsible parent, and so to kind of wrestle with those questions – we did a little bit in the first one, but it’s certainly now more pronounced. Man, I just keep getting in trouble. The first one I started in jail, now I’m in jail in my house (laughs), and I got put away in Civil War, too. I’m a repeat offender.

Can you talk about how Scott feels about the security business that he and his friends started?

[He’s] excited about that because it’s him making an honest go of it, and it’s hard. It’s hard out there for a pimp. You got to try and make a living and we’re giving it a shot, and I think we’d be pretty good at the business. So I’m all for it. They have a little office but it’s also weird. I’m under house-arrest, so I haven’t really seen it. (laughs)

How is the suit this time around? Are you comfortable?

It’s a different suit. I guess on every one of these, they make modifications and the suit can do some different things, but I think it’s a little bit more streamlined. Going back, in the first Ant-Man, there was an analog quality to it and then all of a sudden [in] Civil War, it was a little bit more – it looked like a hood ornament. A little more chrome. And I think this has gone back, it’s kind of in the middle, dialing in both looks and has been updated. As far as comfort, it’s just as comfortable as it’s ever been, and I love it. I’m biased, but I think it’s a really cool-looking suit.

Is the Wasp a better superhero than Ant-Man at this stage? Because in the first movie, she’s training your character.

I feel like she’s born into it and made for it more than I am.

Is that reflected in your fighting styles together?

Well, I think it’s more of a kind of a – I don’t know whether or not we’re on the same page at the beginning and maybe we’re a little rusty. We’re good if we get past our baggage and everything else; we’re maybe a good team. But she has the focus and the drive and I think the desire to do it maybe more than me…at least at first.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Trailer Breakdown - Giant Man

Who do you prefer playing more: Ant-Man or Giant-Man?

I don’t really separate the two.

What does Scott Lang think of Ghost? In the comics, Ghost went after big business, and considering what got Scott in trouble initially in Ant-Man, is there something in there that maybe he could admire about that character?

I think he’s got so many other things on his mind, he’s not really [thinking about Ghost].

On a broader level, there are a bunch of new people joining this movie: Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins, and obviously Michele Pfeiffer. How much time have you actually been able to spend with them on set?

Not much yet. You know, I’ve only been here with Laurence Fishburne for one or two days. Walton Goggins I just met. I haven’t worked with him yet but I’ve met him. Michelle filmed a thing for Comic-Con, but we haven’t yet filmed stuff in the film, so I’m looking forward to it.

Is there a new Antony this time around? Any new friends?

Oh, is there gonna be (laughs)… There might be a couple, yeah.

When the first movie came out, you said that when you told your son about it, he said, ‘This sounds stupid.’ Is he on board with this one now, or is it iffy?

He’s definitely on board. He thinks it’s pretty cool. My daughter, who is 7, all she does is draw pictures of Ant-Man and the Wasp. She’s the sweetest thing in the world, so I have lots of pictures of Ant-Man which she draws. No, he thinks it’s pretty cool. I think he thought it was pretty cool back then too, but he just likes to push my buttons. (laughs)

Can you say if you’re going back and forth filming Avengers stuff as you’re also working on this?

Yeah, yeah. I can say, I am. I am going back and forth.

How is Scott handling going back to the Quantum Realm?

Oh, I don’t know. (laughs)

Can you say anything about how Hank and Hope’s view of Scott has changed since he took Hank’s technology to fight in Civil War?

I don’t think he took too kindly to that, or her. I think that I have made life a little bit more difficult for them. Nobody knew about me until Germany.

Does he have a celebrity status? Well, I guess he doesn’t leave the house, so never mind.

Well, you just described JD Salinger. (laughs)

How does Scott feel about being pulled back into it? Is he begrudgingly going along, or…?

I just think there’s a lot at stake in his life and in his personal life. He cares about all the people involved, but it’s trying to figure out what to do and also who [he is] – what kind of person, what kind of parent, and what kind of hero.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp arrives in theaters on July 6, 2018.

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