During the summer of 1995, "Clueless" became a hit and launched Paul Rudd on his journey to becoming an A-list comedic actor. The role of Cher's (Alicia Silverstone) older stepbrother, Josh, called for an actor both sarcastic and likeable. Was it destiny for the young, wry Rudd?
Let's just say the "How Do You Know" star is very lucky his other movie that year didn't become a mega-success. If "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers," the series' sixth installment, had been a box-office smash, Rudd would be working alongside Rob Zombie these days rather than starring opposite Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson in a James L. Brooks feature.
The 25-year-old actor must have been stoked to land the role of a grown-up Tommy Doyle, the child Laurie Strode babysat in the original "Halloween." Before that, he'd been relegated to DJing Bat Mitzvahs, appearing in Nintendo commercials and being a series regular in the extremely short-lived TV show, "Wild Oats."
However, Rudd also landed "Clueless" and must have immediately regretted signing on for the Michael Myers' ride. Besides Johnny Depp, few great actors begin in horror films. That must be why Rudd insisted on being credited as Paul Stephen Rudd, the only time he's used his middle name in credit before or since.
We wonder if Rudd remembers the experience as Tommy Doyle fondly? After all, it may be the only time he plays a brave hero, standing toe-to-to with a murderous madman. Now he only plays hapless husbands, jerks, fancy boys and quirky cameos.