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Emails! Goal-setting! To-do lists! Paul Rudd is as overwhelmed as the rest of us

Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Rudd hadn't necessarily been looking to do a TV series -- but that's because, as he says, he doesn't really differentiate between film and TV anymore. When he read all eight scripts to "Living With Yourself," he was "sucked in immediately" -- undaunted by the fact that he'd have to wear a diaper and be buried alive -- by its message that flailing people can still have their wins.

"It dips into areas that are not traditional in comedy, and there's some sci-fi in it," he says. "It's actually asking metaphysical or existential questions. It made me think about how different intellectual memory can be versus actual experiences. And what does it really mean to be the best version of myself? Is that a real thing? If it's a real thing, what does that look like?"

He considers the question a moment. It leads to thoughts on how the rigors of reality can overpower intention.

"I have many ideas at different times of the year," Rudd says. "Like, 'Hey, you know what? I'm going to really prioritize something here, and I'm going to read a book.' Or 'I'm going to take my kids to school every day.' Or 'I'm going to make time for the gym.' Or 'I'm going to do seven things each week that make me happy.' I'm not kidding. I'll have these thoughts. It seems like, in theory, that's going to help me live the best version of my life that I could be living ... It never happens."

A beat.

"Do you have to-do lists and do you do them all?" he asks. "I do a lot. But I also, oftentimes, don't do what's on the list. I'll do a few. I'll check them off and then sometimes be like, 'Oh, it's been three years. I'm never doing that. Let me go ahead and take it off the list now.'

"Here's another thing of mine that gets to be totally overwhelming, and I'm impressed with people that can manage it, and that's email," he continues. "I've gotten to the point where it's such a tidal wave, it's such a mega tsunami of mail, that I almost don't even answer. There are many people in my life who need answers, and I'm sure they have stopped because I have ghosted them because I feel stuck in the mud from it all."

When he talks about emails, Rudd sounds more like old Miles, and the rest of us: a little bit resigned to the fact that intention will never wholly defeat reality.

 

"I spent the flight to Los Angeles yesterday going through and deleting," he says. "I barely even put a dent. I did it the whole flight. With emails, there's no freedom to exist unbothered. That is essential to being a human. And when I answer them, it's usually always starting with an apology for how long it took me to respond."

But at least the intention was there. And really, Rudd says, that's just as noble.

"We're all trying, on some level."

(c)2019 Los Angeles Times

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