Paul Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. Aside from a brief stint in Anaheim, California, Rudd was mostly raised in Overland Park, Kansas.
Rudd was raised as a Reform Jew and says that his religious upbringing was “pretty laid back.” Still, he says, he went to synagogue, had a bar mitzvah, and was completely immersed in Jewish culture and food.
Beyond that, he says that in Judaism, the degree to which a person is religious makes no difference. For him, it’s more about heritage than it is about practicing the faith. He said,
My whole family is Jewish; my wife, Julie, is Jewish–there isn’t anyone in my family who isn’t Jewish. . . . We have a lineage that is so many thousands of years old, that you just relate. It is a tribe; it’s like, “Oh, yeah, that’s my team,” and I feel that for sure.
Maybe growing up in the Bible Belt will do that to a Jewish kid.
Gay Guys and Gun Control
Just as he kept his faith among a sea of Christians, he also managed to remain fairly blue in the red state of his youth. Rudd isn’t the most actively political celebrity, but all signs point to liberal.
First, he seemed pretty star-struck when he met President Obama. But beyond that, he has made clear his support for the two biggest liberal celebrity causes of the moment: gay rights and gun control.
After a Saturday Night Live episode in which he kissed a man, Rudd said he was surprised that people asked him about it. He said,
People would say, “What was it like to kiss a guy?” Like it was such a shocking thing. I said, “How many times does anyone ask, 'You had to shoot somebody. Was that weird?”’ I love gay guys. I feel pretty gay. I’m certainly not the most macho guy in the room.
So he might not be standing on the front lines of the gay marriage rallies, but he clearly supports the gay community. About gun control, he took a more serious stance. He participated in a celebrity public service announcement urging Congress to take action on gun control reform in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.
It might not be much, but the result is pretty clear: another Hollywood liberal. If he decides to join the campaign trail or run for office, keep us updated in the comments.