Playing Marvel's Ant-Man Came With A Major Restriction For Paul Rudd

Portraying a Marvel superhero is no easy feat. Not only do actors have the shoulder the expectations of millions and millions of rabid fans, but they have to try and maintain the physical standards of, well, superheroes. They don't just have to be fit, but have to be unrealistically muscular and lean, which leads to all kinds of intense dieting, harsh workouts, and possibly even steroid use. Sure, they often wear costumes that are specifically tailored to make them look extra ripped, but there are almost always scenes showing off a bit of skin, which means a whole lot of hard work behind-the-scenes. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "Ant-Man" star Paul Rudd revealed that he had to undergo an extremely restrictive diet while training to play Scott Lang, a.k.a. the titular Ant-Man. That meant eating very specific foods with lots of protein and limiting his intake of any kind of sugary treats. Lots of people like a little treat every once in a while, like a cookie or a glass of wine, but unfortunately those were off-limits, leading Rudd to reward himself with something rather unusual.

Rudd rewarded himself with bubbly water

The training for a Marvel superhero role can require some ludicrous dietary restrictions — like Chris Hemsworth eating more than 6000 calories a day, mostly lean protein, to play Thor. Rudd didn't have to get quite as yoked as Hemsworth, which means he probably didn't have to eat quite as many broiled chicken breasts, but he still wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything fun, as he explained:

"When I was having to train for the 'Ant-Man movie,' and I was on a very restrictive diet, my reward was sparkling water [laughs]. That's how horrible that diet was. I was like, 'Alright, I'm gonna have some sparkling water now, I've earned it.'"

Sparkling water is not exactly what I would call rewarding, especially because Rudd clarified that it wasn't even flavored. It's possible to imagine sparkling water as a treat if it has some kind of flavor, so he could at least pretend like he was ingesting something yummy (because even flavored sparkling water is just like the idea of a flavor, not an actual flavor), but plain, boring bubbly water as a treat is a pretty big stretch. What are we doing to these poor actors? I know their job is generally very fun and they get paid an exorbitant amount of money, but that level of dietary restraint for months on end sounds absolutely miserable. 

No scoops for Paul

Given Rudd's dietary restrictions for the role, it seems especially cruel that Scott ends up with a job at Baskin Robbins, slinging ice cream. Just imagine not being able to eat sugar or carbs or trans fats or any other yummy things and standing over 31 flavors of delicious, calorie-rich ice cream. That's psychological torture right there. 

It's not the only miserable thing that Rudd endured for the "Ant-Man" movies, either! For "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," Rudd and the rest of the cast and crew had to deal with "dirt" used to decorate the soundstage that was actually animal manure that grew increasingly smelly under the hot studio lights. Thankfully they got it switched out, but the stinky set dressing shut down production for a bit!

While Rudd had to avoid pretty much everything that tastes good in order to play Ant-Man each time, he thankfully doesn't have to undergo that kind of strict regimen for the comedies that made him famous (or his stranger, more serious fare, like the underrated sci-fi miniseries "Mute"). Here's hoping he's had the chance to get himself a banana split with extra whipped cream and a cherry on top. He's earned it.