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Paul Rudd Details ‘Restrictive Diet’ He Follows to Play Ant-Man: My ‘Reward Was Sparkling Water’

Paul Rudd Details 'Restrictive Diet' He Followed to Play Ant-Man: My 'Reward Was Sparkling Water'
Paul RuddAxelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Paul Rudd has plenty of fun playing Ant-Man, but he doesn’t enjoy preparing to look like a Marvel superhero.

The actor, 54, discussed his favorites foods and diet while on the Tuesday, November 21, episode of the “Off Menu” podcast with hosts Ed Gamble and James Acaster. As Rudd was putting together his ideal menu, the hosts asked Ruddd what type of water he preferred.

“When I was having to train for the Ant-Man movie, and I was on a very restrictive diet, my reward was sparkling water,” Rudd revealed with a laugh. “That’s how horrible that diet was. I was like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna have some sparkling water now. I’ve earned it!’”

All sparkling water brands are not the same, he shared: “Pellegrino is great. I would choose that over a Perrier.”

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When Gamble and Acaster questioned if the bubbly beverage was really a reward, Rudd confirmed that he wasn’t joking. “It was great. It wasn’t flavored, I wasn’t gonna go crazy,” he said. “It was a treat.”

Rudd started playing the superhero in 2015’s Ant-Man. He returned for Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Rudd has gotten used to the restrictive diet over the years.

Paul Rudd Details 'Restrictive Diet' He Followed to Play Ant-Man: My 'Reward Was Sparkling Water'
Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’ Cover Images/INSTAR

“Once you’re in it, it’s actually not too hard. … I’m OK with having really boring food every time, over and over again because I would eat kind of very similar things,” he said. “You get into it and get into the groove of it, [you start to] feel good. I like waking up with tons of energy. It was the strangest sensation. That was new for me.”

Rudd was asked if the stars were comparing diet and nutrition notes on the set of Avengers: Endgame, and he couldn’t help but notice he wasn’t getting the same results as Chris Hemsworth for what appeared to be the same — if not more — effort.

“I mean, I think people kind of are [comparing notes],” Rudd said. “But I also think I worked out harder than anyone, I would eat better than everyone — and I looked worse than all of them. I had to work out all the time, eat perfectly, just to look kind of bad. Not even like great.”

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He added, “I remember on Endgame, Chris Hemsworth would always have these Tupperware containers and he’s eating this gruel of just a mash of stuff. He’s working out, and then you stand next to a guy like that, and I just think, ‘Well, what’s the point of any of this?’ Why am I killing myself when that can exist? And then I look at myself and this exists. I can never achieve that.”

Paul Rudd Details 'Restrictive Diet' He Followed to Play Ant-Man: My 'Reward Was Sparkling Water'
Paul Rudd, Kathryn Newton, and Evangeline Lilly in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.’ Moviestore Collection/Cover Images/INSTAR

The Only Murders in the Building star noted that he was happy his character was never expected to look like Hemsworth’s god of thunder. “That was the good thing that it was Ant-Man, it isn’t Thor. But I tried to work out like Thor, and it didn’t work,” he quipped.

Don’t worry, Rudd enjoys his time away from the superhero diet, imbibing in candy and carbs. He co-owns Samuel’s Sweet Shop in Rhinebeck New York with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Morgan, and he explained that everything bagels with cream cheese and bread baskets are among his favorite things to eat.

“If I’m at a restaurant and they bring out that hot basket of bread and you pour the olive oil in the dish … c’mon, I don’t even need a dish. Main, sourdough bread. Side, bagel,” he joked.

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