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Paul Rudd says ‘horrible’ Marvel diet left him drinking sparkling water as ‘reward’

Paul Rudd has said he would drink sparkling water as a “reward” at the height of his restrictive diet while playing Ant-Man in the Marvel films.

The Clueless star joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015, most recently starring in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania earlier this year.

Over the years, many Marvel stars have opened up about the grueling training regimens they undertake when cast in the superhero franchise.

Paul Rudd starred in the third Ant Man movie earlier this year


Rudd described the strict measures he went to while appearing on the comedy food podcast Off Menu, which sees guests asked to recall their multi-course “dream menu” by hosts Ed Gamble and James Acaster.

When asked what kind of water he preferred, the 54 year-old, told the comedians he was still a fan of the sparkling stuff.

“When I was having to train for the Ant-Man movie, and I was on a very restrictive diet, my reward was sparkling water,” he said, with an incredulous laugh. “That’s how horrible that diet was. I was like, ‘Alright, I can have some sparkling water now, I’ve earned it.’”

Rudd said that as he was training and “working out” so much, he would have “a lot of sparkling water” and joked that he would go for certain brands on a “cheat day”.

Chris Hemsworth has undergone drastic physical transformations while playing Thor

(Marvel Studios)

“Did it feel like a treat?” Acaster asked, with Rudd replying: “Yeah, it was great. It wasn’t flavoured, I wasn’t gonna go crazy.” He added that he “kind of did it” for all the Marvel films, and that it was sometimes easier than expected.

“Once you’re in it, it’s not too hard,” he said, particularly as he was “OK with having really boring food” continuously. The diet, Rudd said, actually gave him “tons of energy”.

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Acaster then asked Rudd if the other Marvel stars would “compare notes” when working together on ensemble films such as Avengers: Infinity War or its follow-up Endgame.

“I mean, I think people kind of are,” he responded, “but I also think I worked out harder than anyone, I would eat better than everyone, and I looked worse than all of them. I had to work out all the time, eat perfectly, just to look kind of bad. Not even great.”

“Was everyone snapping at each other though? Was everyone hangry?” Gamble asked. Rudd replied: “I don’t know… I remember on Endgame, Chris Hemsworth would always have these Tupperware containers and he’s eating this gruel, just a mash of stuff.

“He’s working out, and then you stand next to a guy like that, and I just think, well what’s the point of any of this? Why am I killing myself when that can exist, and then I look at myself and this exists. I can never achieve that… That was the good thing at least – Ant-Man, it isn’t Thor. But I tried to work out, and it didn’t work.”

Back in 2021, Hemsworth’s body double on the Marvel films, Bobby Holland Hanton, said that he was struggling to keep up with the size of the Australian “man mountain”.

Fellow Marvel actor Will Poulter has previously spoken out about actor’s physical health while training

(Getty Images)

Over the years, however, a number of Marvel stars have spoken more critically about the body transformation expected for superhero movies.

In an interview with The Independent, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 star Will Poulter said that actors needed to prioritise mental and physical health over “aesthetic goals”, “otherwise you end up promoting something that is unhealthy and unrealistic if you don’t have the financial backing of a studio paying for your meals and training”.

“I’m in a very privileged position in that respect, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone do what I did to get ready for that job,” he added.

Of the preparation, Poulter said that he had done “a lot of gym work and a very, very specific diet”.

“It means not particularly civilised at times,” he explained. “Quantities of food you wouldn’t necessarily want to ingest.

“And other times not enough food… I’ve gone through periods of looking at food and feeling like I can’t face it, and then you blink and the next minute you’re ready to eat furniture because you’re so hungry.”

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