Paul Rudd explains why Ant-Man is a relatable hero, the history of his relationship with The Wasp, and how he got to contribute to the script.
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
July 6, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp (the sequel to Ant-Man) sees Paul Rudd reprising his role as Scott Lang — a.k.a. Ant-Man — who teams up Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) — a.k.a. the Wasp. Van Dyne is the brainy, beautiful daughter of scientist and original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Breaking free of house arrest, Scott and Hope find themselves battling the strange Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and looking for Hope’s mother, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who they believe is alive somewhere in the Quantum Realm.
We caught up with the affable Paul Rudd on the line from Los Angeles where he gave us the scoop on Ant-Man and the Wasp.
How has Scott changed in this second movie?
Well, we're starting off and Scott is in trouble. I mean he’s under house arrest —literally in my house with a monitor around my ankle — because it's taking place after Civil War and so Ant-Man is not part of his life in the same way. As in the first movie, the relationship he has with his daughter is the most important thing to him.
What’s it like working with Evangeline Lilly?
It's great working with Evangeline, she's a sweetheart and she knows what she wants, and she has opinions about what it is that she's doing. She’ll have an opinion about the scene and an enthusiasm with approaching it, and she's just supercool. It's a great feeling when you know you got a partner in every way, not just character-wise.
And Wasp is part of a wave of female superheroes entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is pretty cool.
It's really cool. And you know it's not just something that is a reaction to like, “Oh we need to do this.” You look back into the comics, this was always the partnership, Ant-Man and the Wasp, but it is a great thing to see more female superheroes and women kicking ass both in front of and behind the camera.
“I am drawn to seeing myself in characters, I want to be able to relate to and empathize with their struggles and their challenges and their victories and everything. That’s my default.”
As with the first film, you contributed to the script of this film. There are five credited screenwriters, how do you all collaborate?
There were two guys, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who I think are great writers who really did so much of the work. It’s great to be able to sit in a room, all of us together for months at a time before we ever start shooting, and to have Peyton Reed there, who's coming up with ideas, and [Marvel president] Kevin Feige, he's really involved, so it is a very cool thing. You feel like you're really in a writer's room because you essentially are.
From our archives: Watch Hannah John-Kamen in a 2018 interview for Ant-Man and the Wasp
One of the things we like about Scott is that he’s a regular person and we see the Marvel universe through his eyes. It’s the idea that “he could be me,” and he’s the closest I’m going to get to being in that world.
I know the feeling [laughs]. Yeah, and that's the thing that I focus on and think about too. It's probably why people would buy me in this role. You know, I don't think that if I was getting cast as Captain America I wouldn't be receiving the glowing reviews that I get as Scott Lang [laughs]. Please put it in writing that I laughed.
Yes I will.
No, I am drawn to seeing myself in characters, I want to be able to relate to and empathize with their struggles and their challenges and their victories and everything. That’s my default, and this role is to be a regular person experiencing it with the audience. Like when shooting Civil War, when I see Captain America and go, ‘Wow,’ and being so impressed with him because if I met him in real life I don't think I would be able to play it supercool.
Are you ready for Avengers: Endgame?
First, get your tickets! Then, book some quality catch-up time. You’ll find all the MCU titles (not still in theatre) at the Cineplex store! Whether you should watch them chronologically or by order of release is one battle you’ll have to take on with your friends.