Paul Rudd's Danger Zone

Article excerpt

Byline: Marlow Stern

The actor delivers a knockout turn as a Christian evangelical whose life spirals out of control in 'Grace,' a new Broadway play.

I'm not sure we've seen you kill anyone before, in a film or on stage.

I don't think I have! This is a very interesting and different part for me. And there are not many plays that open right with someone blowing their brains out.

Is theater more creatively satisfying for you than acting in film?

Acting in a play takes a lot of focus, concentration, and energy. The big myth is that you have a show at night so you have your days off, and that isn't the way it works. Your day revolves around the show. I spent the early part of my career doing plays and independent movies, and while I'm grateful that I'm still working and consider myself extremely fortunate, over the last few years I've gotten jobs in big studio movies that have much higher visibility; I hit that [Judd] Apatow trend. And those movies are very creatively fulfilling because the actors are involved in many different capacities.

Was it strange to be a Jewish kid growing up in Kansas? This evangelical subject matter must hit pretty close to home.

Oh yeah, man, I grew up in the Bible Belt. While I'm not the born-again Christian I'm playing, I know a lot of people who are because I was surrounded by that. …