Well this is awkward: Paul Rudd is People's 2021 Sexiest Man Alive

Chris Evans was favoured to get the title, but it ultimately went to the ageless wonder.
November 10, 2021 10:52 a.m. EST
People People

What do Brad Pitt, Michael B. Jordan, George Clooney and Paul Rudd have in common? Well, as of this writing, they’ve all been named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Yup, Rudd officially joined the steamy list on November 9 during an announcement on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

For his part, Colbert took the task of bestowing the title very seriously, becoming a self-proclaimed Sexiness Adjudicator for the honour. “Right now, there is one major question on absolutely everyone's minds: Who will be People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2021? In these divided times, it's the last thing that all Americans care about," he deadpanned.

Then, after speculating it could be Chris Evans (remember how on November 4, Page Six alledged that he was this year's top choice? AWKWARD) or The Rock, Colbert launched into a pre-recorded sketch in which he held interviews for the sexiest dudes. As Colbert was staring at a cover of Matthew McConaughey from his 2005 title, in walked his next appointment: Paul Rudd.

"I think you have the wrong room," Colbert said, before swearing Rudd in and putting him through a series of interview questions to determine his overall sexiness. Confidence? Oh yeah, that’s sexy. Correcting Colbert for getting Rudd’s name wrong? Meh, not so much, shrugged the late-night host.

"I do solemnly swear to give the sexiest answers I can, to be a man and to stay alive," Rudd, totally playing into it for the laughs, said. "So help me McConaughey."

So what else goes into a sexy interview? A steamy photo shoot, a hair analysis and a smarts test, among other things. But as we now know it was all a ruse, and despite Colbert faking Rudd (and viewers) out, the sexiest crown was always his.

The official issue of the annual rankings hits newsstands on Friday, but before then Rudd admitted he knew some people would raise their eyebrows at his selection—hence the gag with Colbert. Even Rudd’s wife, Julie, initially giggled when she found out.

"She was stupefied," he said. "But you know she was very sweet about it. After some giggling and shock, she said 'Oh, they got it right.' And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what's she going to say?"

Rudd also told the publication that he’s expecting to get some grief from his buddies after this.

"As they should. I would," he added. "I mean I'm going to lean into it hard. I'm going to own this. I'm not going to try to be like 'Oh, I'm so modest.' I'm getting business cards made. But all of my friends will destroy me and I expect them to. And that's why they're my friends."

Not all of Rudd’s friends might feel that way though.

Look, Rudd might not be the 'traditional' definition of… hunky? But he’s definitely got lots going for him. He makes people laugh, for one. He also happens to be the star of a Marvel franchise, and as we’ve all learned you should never discount Ant-Man. Oh, and then there’s also the fact that the guy just doesn’t age. Seriously, he looks the same as he did back in his Clueless days.

For those reasons and more, the 52-year-old has had lots of people backing him up online since the title was officially bestowed.

So what is Rudd going to do with this new title, aside from printing new business cards? Well, he definitely sees a lot more sexy parties and yachting in his future, but he’s also contemplating adding more brooding and pondering to his life in order to be more connected to those inner thoughts.

People has been naming the sexiest men alive since 1985, when Mel Gibson graced the cover. Since then some other honourees have included Sean Connery, Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Idris Elba and Ben Affleck.

Rudd isn’t the most controversial choice in the bunch though, or at least not when you realize that Nick Nolte and Mark Harmon have also been honoured.

The lesson? There’s a lot more to sexiness than purely good looks. Sometimes it’s sense of humour, good nature, and all-around debonair disposition that can be the biggest turn-ons. Well, that, and an inability to age.

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