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Paul Rudd Had $41 Million ‘Ant-Man’ Payday — But Lives in Town of 8,000

By Michael Mar 21, 2024

Paul Rudd is a jack of all trades with both lovable A-lister actor and small-town shop owner on his resume.

On any given day, Rudd — who co-owns Rhinebeck, New York’s beloved Samuel’s Sweet Shop — can be seen inside the quaint upstate establishment, chatting with neighbors
or even working the register.

“Paul’s always friendly,” Rudd’s managing partner at Samuel’s, John Traver, exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “He takes time to speak to the staff and learn their names and ask them questions about their lives, and he’ll talk about his life and show us pictures from the Super Bowl or tell us what’s going on with his house or his dog.”

It’s not exactly the kind of behavior people have come to expect from a big Hollywood star. At 54, the impossibly handsome Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire actor has starred in over 60 movies and raked in an estimated $41 million just from his work as Ant-Man in the Marvel cinematic universe alone.

Invision/AP

But Rudd isn’t your average celebrity. The married father of two is a dedicated family man who prefers the simple life in upstate New York to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. (Rudd and his wife of 21 years, film producer Julie Yaeger, share son Jack, 17, and daughter Darby, 13.)

He’s also one of the nicest guys in show business. “Paul is the sweetest man to everyone, personally and professionally,” a source tells Us. “He treats everyone the same, from the CEO to the person who gets him coffee. For him, kindness has always been key.”

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In the idyllic town of Rhinebeck — population: just under 8,000 — Rudd has become a fixture among the locals. He attends his kids’ sports games and school functions and hits up local eateries for a low-key meal.

“Paul fell in love with the scenery, the community and the quiet, and doesn’t plan on leaving until his kids are off to college, and maybe not even then,” the source shares.

Mike Marsland/WireImage

Living roughly 3,000 miles from Hollywood is a no-brainer for Rudd. “One of the most important things any human can experience is to be a part of a community and feel connected to where you live and to other people who live there, especially in a job like mine,” he previously said.

The actor grew up primarily in Kansas City, Missouri, and still carries a Midwestern sensibility, including a deep affinity for the Kansas City Chiefs. “Paul keeps his head on his shoulders by being able to live a normal life upstate,” the insider tells Us. “He can walk down the main street and knows many store owners by name.”

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Rudd has also become a favorite among the locals who adore him. “He’s really nice,” Rebecca Selle tells Us, noting she waited on Rudd and his family at local diner Pete’s Famous Restaurant. “Sometimes he’ll come in the morning when it’s quiet in town,” Selle adds, sharing that the actor likes to blend in. “I probably wouldn’t even notice [Rudd] was a celebrity. He looks like everyone else and doesn’t ask for special treatment.”

Mari Bird, owner of Willow Wood boutique, says Rudd fits right in. “He’s just like the rest of us. He has no airs. He’s just a sweet, generous man,” she tells Us, adding that Rudd has done a lot for the local community.

Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

“I remember during Covid, there was a line out the door [of Samuel’s], and Paul was there with a mask and hat on to get orders going with all the other kids,” she says. “No one knew who he was. He was working just as hard to get coffee and hot chocolate [to people].”

Bird reveals that Rudd has raised money for Astor, a local children’s home, along with his famous Samuel’s co-owners, actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan and wife Hilarie Burton.

“Hilarie, Jeffrey and Paul would do story time at Bard College, and [were at] Astor painting walls and fundraising,” Bird adds. “They’re really genuine people.”

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Ally Stern, the supervisor at Bread Alone Bakery, tells Us Rudd is “an absolute pleasure” when he stops in. (The last time she saw him, he was with fellow actor and friend Adam Scott.)

“Paul is great,” she says. “He’s not condescending and is a normal guy. He has a great presence in this community; people love him.”

Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Rudd’s family also keeps him grounded. In fact, the actor admitted that his son, Jack, had no idea his dad was a movie star until he was a teenager! “I think when he was 15, he finally put it all together,” Rudd recalled last year.

While Yaeger has accompanied Rudd to several red carpet events over the years, they keep their relationship private for the most part. “When I go to L.A. for work or to a premiere, I like it because it feels like I’m just popping in,” Rudd previously shared. “I identify myself as a parent and a husband way more than somebody who rides around on the back of an ant.”

He’s likened their union to tending to a garden — “I think most marriages, mine included, [you’re] constantly working at it” — and said that humor is a big part of their connection. “My wife is very stealth-funny,” Rudd revealed. “She’ll come out with something when I’m not expecting [it], and it will just kill me.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

Rudd is just as well-liked on set as he is off. “Paul will remember production assistants’ names and even send birthday gifts to people’s kids,” the insider tells Us. He’s been in some huge, big-budget films, “but he’s still very level headed and kind to everyone on set.”

A second source who’s worked with Rudd on two projects says there’s no walking on eggshells with him. “It’s not like with other movie stars when there’s a distinction between the talent and the crew who are on tenterhooks,” the insider explains. “With Paul, he’s so low-key you don’t notice he’s there half the time — then suddenly he’s working, and he brings the magic for the camera.”

For more on Rudd’s local charm watch the exclusive video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

By Michael

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