Paul Rudd, hometown hero, talks 'Ant-Man,' fame and his Kansas City roots
At the induction ceremony, he recalled walking down the fabled boulevard as a youngster, reading the stars' names and thinking what so many others had: "Who's that?"
Rudd was born in Passaic, N.J. (a city dubbed the Birthplace of Television). He moved to Kansas City at age 5 for a couple of years before his family relocated to Anaheim, Calif. They returned when he was 10, and Rudd eventually attended Broadmoor Junior High and Shawnee Mission West High School.
"I used to work at Oak Park Mall in a clothing store called the Imagery," he says. "It was only there for a little while, opposite the food court. It was like new-wave fashion for those who were just not satiated by the cutting edge of Oak Tree, Merry Go Round or Chess King. You could pop up to Imagery and get yourself a pair of pants that had pleats in the ass."
Fortunately, Rudd continues to enjoy a strong bond with his hometown. His most high-profile connection emerges during the annual Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, which he co-hosts with fellow celebrities from the area - Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner - to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital and its Cancer Center. They persuade other stars, such as Will Ferrell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Johnny Knoxville, to take part in various charity events.
"Every year all five of us are confounded by the number of people who say, â€˜Yes, we'll come,' because it's a haul," says Rudd. "It's hard enough to just keep an evening free if somebody invites you to dinner, let alone get on a plane and fly away for the whole weekend. But people are nice. Once we explain what we're doing, they're like, â€˜Yeah, I'm in!'"
The highlight, he says, is meeting the patients and their families at the Cancer Center.
"The kids are so great. And the staff is amazing. It's a very clear reminder of why we're doing it all," he says.
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