Paul Rudd Photograph by Michael Lewis
EW Staff
June 19, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Paul Rudd made EW’s It List

Age 34

Why Him? He romanced our favorite Friend, Phoebe, in the show’s best plotline this season, while maintaining big-screen indie cred in Neil LaBute’s ”The Shape of Things.”

…And Because He’s Modest ”Joining ‘Friends’ was terrifying. It was a convention that I was unfamiliar with, and it was a show that the entire world was superfamiliar with. People in Bangladesh have seen it.”

Friend He’d Most Like to Date ”Gunther,” says the hetero, but homo-friendly, Rudd (see ”The Object of My Affection”).

Okay, But Technically Gunther’s Not a Friend ”Phoebe. I like her eccentricity, her free spirit.”

Worst Job Costarring in an educational film about sexual molestation. ”The director wanted to do a take where I talk about Jesus — all of this was kept from me when I signed on. I wouldn’t do it, and he threw the ‘You’ll never work in this town again.’ I’m Jewish — I’m not going to say that stuff.”

Influences ”I’d like to have the acting equivalent of Elvis Costello’s or Tom Waits’ career — navigating a life where art and commerce don’t have to go together.”

More Lowbrow, Please ”A few months ago a buddy said, ‘Let’s watch ”American Idol”.’ I wound up almost being late for my flight. I got totally sucked in.”

Next At least five episodes of ”Friends” in the fall.

What We’d Like to See Next A reunion with ”Clueless” costar Alicia Silverstone on her new NBC show, ”Miss Match.” ”Yeah,” Rudd says. ”I’d do that.”

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