(Reuters) — Paul Rudd, the affable actor best known for playing "Ant-Man," was named People magazine's sexiest man alive on Wednesday, joining the likes of Idris Elba, George Clooney and Bradley Cooper.
Rudd, 52, whose career stretches back 30 years, seemed taken aback at the honor, as was his wife.
"I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I'd be picked for this, they would say, 'What?'" he told People in a cover story.
"She was stupefied," he said, describing the reaction of Julie, his wife of 18 years. "After some giggling and shock, she said, 'Oh, they got it right.' And that was very sweet."
Rudd played the kind boyfriend of Lisa Kudrow's wacky Phoebe on TV comedy "Friends" and later took larger roles in comedies like "Knocked Up" before playing Ant-Man in the Marvel superhero movie, followed by a sequel and appearances as the character in "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Endgame."
Rudd, who has two children, will next appear in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" and in the TV series "The Shrink Next Door."
Actor Michael B. Jordan was last year's pick as sexiest man alive, following John Legend and Idris Elba in 2019 and 2018.
Rudd joked that he expected his life to change radically since he has received the annual title.
"I'm hoping now that I'll finally be invited to some of those sexy dinners with Clooney and Pitt and B Jordan," he said. "And I figure I'll be on a lot more yachts."
The special double issue of People hits U.S. newsstands on Friday.