Although Paul Rudd is not a practicing Jew, he still feels connected to this part of his heritage. In certain interviews, Paul has shared that his upbringing was culturally Jewish, which has influenced his outlook on the world. In addition, he was bar mitzvahed when he turned thirteen.
In a strange turn of events, he had this rite of passage in Ontario, Canada, instead of his hometown of Kansas City. He explained to Stephen Colbert in a 2018 interview that he had a bunch of family members out in Ontario, so it was more cost-effective to go north rather than ask everyone to fly to the States.
He Loves British Cuisine
Even though Paul grew up in the States, his parents are both originally from England. As a result, Paul was raised on classic British cuisine like Yorkshire pudding. Sunday roasts, tea, and crumpets were mainstays in his family’s kitchen. He also still has a soft spot for British snacks, like Cadbury Fingers and McVitie’s Digestives.
Like any good Englishman, Paul is also very serious about his tea. He’s always been a big tea drinker and won’t settle for less than the best. Forget Lipton Tea. It’s all about some hot PG Tips tea with a splash of milk.
A Surprising Family Reveal
Paul Rudd discovered a surprising fact about his parents when he guest starred on an episode of “Finding Your Roots.” It turns out that his parents, Gloria and Michael, were second cousins. Paul had no idea about this, but he took the news in stride by joking, “Does this make my son also my uncle?”
Although marrying a second cousin may sound shocking, this doesn’t make Paul’s parents first-degree family members. Since his parents were second cousins, that means they share a great-grandparent somewhere in their family tree. It’s still pretty surprising by today’s standards, but not unheard of.
He Used to Be a DJ
Every actor has an origin story full of odd jobs they used to work to make ends meet. Before Paul Rudd hit it big in Hollywood, he made his living as a DJ. No, we don’t mean a nightclub DJ who wears sunglasses indoors. It was much more wholesome than that. Paul used to work as a DJ for bat and bar mitzvahs while starting as an actor in LA.
During the early 90s, Paul brought his infectious energy to the dance floor for many awkward teenagers participating in this traditional rite of passage. There’s even some surviving footage floating around on YouTube, revealing a fashionable Paul Rudd helping kids cheat in limbo.
He Was Teased as a Kid
Paul Rudd may be one of the most beloved stars of our time, but that doesn’t mean he was always popular. Growing up Jewish in the United States Bible Belt made him stick out like a sore thumb. To cope and avoid getting beat up by bullies, Paul often resorted to self-deprecating humor.
As an adult, Paul realizes that hiding behind humor is still ingrained in his psyche. While dealing with trauma by making a joke might not be the healthiest approach, it’s what he did to survive in a community where he was one of the only Jewish kids.