Paul Rudd is officially sexy.
While the veteran actor has had no shortage of fans throughout his nearly four decades in showbiz — hello Ant-Man — he’s now, at the age of 52, been named People the sexiest man in the magazine. The announcement was made with great fanfare on Tuesday The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Ironically, it was another Avenger rumored to land the cover when a story was leaked by Page Six in the days leading up to the official announcement, stating that Chris Evans would be the man. But instead the credit went to Rudd, who appears in the new movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife later this month.
Colbert didn’t make it easy for Rudd, though, by having him go through a series of hilariously rigorous interview questions and other tests in a pre-recorded segment, before he could determine if Rudd had it in him. But in the end Colbert crowned Rudd – both literally and figuratively – and will officially welcome the latest Sexiest Man Alive at The late show start next week.
The title Sexist Man Alive has been a staple of celebrity-friendly magazine for decades. Since 1985, there are 32 different men who have held the title. Mel Gibson (1985) was the first, Michael B. Jordan (2020) was the last – and in between there were George Clooney (1997 and 2006), Dwayne Johnson (2016), Brad Pitt (1995 and 2000), Ben Affleck (2002 ), John Legend (2019), Channing Tatum (2012), and, yes, Blake Shelton (2017).
The franchise started out simple enough – not many could John F. Kennedy Jr. as contradict another early choice – but it turned into a big company for the publication. The magazine’s staff spend most of the year planning the unveiling and have the collaboration of the cover star, who is interviewed and seated for a photo shoot.
There has been a whole banter between those Hollywood stars with the title. Two-time winner Clooney regularly makes fun of actors campaigning for the title, especially with playful jabs at Affleck and Matt Damon (2007). Although editor-in-chief Dan Wakeford has admitted that the campaign is underway: “This is one of the greatest moments in a star’s career. This title will follow them.”
The editors have answered other frequently asked questions about the title. No, the winner will not be paid, but will receive an unlimited number of copies of the song. Editors try to pick someone who is more than just handsome or has a great body, but also looks for such qualities as kindness and charity. It helps if someone has a large platform (followers!) to sell copies. The search for the next Sexiest Man Alive begins the day after the annual announcement. And every year, the magazine has celebrities, or publicists, pitching them to appear in the issue.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.
Watch Blake Shelton Name a Favorite on The voice despite his whole team still left: