People has named Paul Rudd the Sexiest Man Alive in 2021.
The actor’s charming magazine cover was unveiled on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday night as part of an elaborate prerecorded scene in which Colbert acted as a “sexiness adjudicator” before finally announcing Rudd’s new title.
The 52-year-old actor is consistently one of Hollywood’s funniest and friendliest leading men who periodically trends whenever the internet rediscovers his ability to never age. His Sexiest Man Alive win follows fellow Marvel star Michael B. Jordan who received the honor last year.
In his cover story interview with People, Rudd joked he is “going to lean into” his coveted new title. “I’m going to own this,” he said.
“I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I’d be picked for this, they would say, ‘What?'” he added, “This is not false humility. There are so many people that should get this before me.”
He revealed that his wife of 18 years, Julie, was the only person he told in advance of the big reveal and she was “stupefied.”
The “Ant-man” actor explained, “But you know she was very sweet about it. After some giggling and shock, she said, ‘Oh, they got it right.’ And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what’s she going to say?”
After landing a few acting gigs in the early ‘90s, Rudd impressed audiences in his breakout role as Josh in the romantic-comedy “Clueless.” He then racked up acting credits, appearing in shows and films like the drama series “Sisters” and Baz Luhrmann’s take on “Romeo + Juliet.”
He continued to show off his comedic wit and timing while portraying Andy in the satirical film “Wet Hot American Summer,” and as co-worker Brian Fantana in the hilarious movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
Memorably, Rudd landed what was originally a guest role as Mike Hannigan on NBC’s classic sitcom, “Friends.” He was so popular with the fans that the writers kept him on and his character ended up marrying Phoebe.
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After booking more starring roles in comedies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “I Love You, Man” and “This Is 40,” Rudd portrayed an English teacher in the critically-acclaimed drama “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
In 2015, Rudd entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Scott Lang, better known as Ant-Man. He reprised the role in the sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” He is set to suit up again in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” slated to hit theaters in 2023.
Most recently, Rudd tackled playing two versions of himself in the Netflix dramedy “Living with Yourself.”
While Rudd captures fans’ attention with his wide-range of acting roles, he also tends to make headlines for just being kind.
Last year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rudd appeared in a funny public service announcement to encourage young people to wear their masks.
The following month, a video went viral of Rudd handing out cookies to Brooklyn residents waiting in the rain to vote in the presidential election.
Rudd will be seen next in the upcoming fantasy film “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and the series “The Shrink Next Door” with Will Ferrell and Kathryn Hahn.
As for his current plans, he told People he will enjoy the perks of being added to a list that includes Idris Elba, Bradley Cooper, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Denzel Washington.
“I’m hoping now that I’ll finally be invited to some of those sexy dinners with Clooney and Pitt and B Jordan,” Rudd said. “And I figure I’ll be on a lot more yachts. I’m excited to expand my yachting life. And I’ll probably try to get better at brooding in really soft light. I like to ponder. I think this is going to help me become more inward and mysterious. And I’m looking forward to that.”