Paul Rudd Reveals His Secret to Youthfulness and Happiness

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Paul Rudd's move to Marvel didn't just change his acting career -- the Ant-man star says the professional pivot helped him learn the value of wellness offscreen, too. 

Known originally for his skilled comedic roles, Rudd shocked the world when he first starred as the titular Ant-man in 2015. Since then, he's become known for his notoriously youthful glow and inspirational fitness level. Rudd opens up about his lifestyle shift in the March 2023 cover story for Men's Health

Paul Rudd
Carter Smith for Men’s Health

"A superhero franchise was never on my radar," Rudd says. "I never really thought I was the type of actor that they would offer any of those parts to. But when this idea came around, I was excited about doing something that was so out of left field, and I knew that if it was announced that I was going to be joining a superhero franchise, most people would say, 'What the f**k?' And I got to wear a superhero suit." 

The Ant-man prep proved to be a learning curve for Rudd, who took time to figure out how to build a routine that worked for him. 

"I get up and I have a cup of coffee, and then I do cardio before I eat anything," he says. "I never would've done that before [Ant-Man]. I lift weights, hopefully at least three times a week. And I've learned so much about how my body reacts to foods, how it reacts to exercise, and where I'm happiest and how much it affects me mentally…. If I'm in this suit, running around playing a character who's supposed to be a superhero, I just feel better. And I feel less like an impostor." 

The effects lasted long after the first Ant-man wrapped. "I finally understand if you make fitness a part of your lifestyle, you'll just feel good," he says. 

Paul Rudd Men's Health cover
Carter Smith for Men's Health

Now, Rudd has started his press tour for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, an experience he says was even harder than the first film. 

"I realized, 'Oh my God, this is so much harder than it was [for the last Ant-Man project].' I had fallen off more than I had in the past," he says. "All of a sudden my clothes fit tight. And I thought, 'God, this sucks. I can't even wear these pants. So I'd say to myself, 'Well, I might as well just eat some of these cookies.' I was irritable and self-conscious. I just wasn't in a good mood. I really beat myself up." 

But Rudd persevered, and he's found peace in establishing a fitness routine. "I can be a hyper-focused person if I have a goal. If I'm doing one of these movies and I know that in four months I have to do a shirtless scene, I'm pretty dialed in. I also try and find the happy medium. I could work out hard and eat perfectly and I'll still look worse than most of the other Avengers."

Finding his own way in the MCU helps Rudd keep a level head. "I find routine comforting," he adds. "There isn't an office that we have to go to every day where we see the same people and do the same kind of job. Routine is a human need. It's grounding in a really positive and healthy way." 

As for his ultimate secret to staying youthful, Rudd shares, "Sleep. Then diet. Then weights. Then cardio. People ask me, ‘Can you send me your meal plan? How many times a week do you work out? Do you drink? Do you eat carbs? Do you have a cheat day?’ The most important part of training is sleep. People will set their alarm and then sleep for four hours and they’ll get up so that they can train. They’re doing themselves a disservice."


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