Paul Rudd (left) with Aisling Bea at the Los Angeles premiere of "Living With Yourself." AP
Saleha Irfan, Senior Sub-Editor/Reporter
Have you ever secretly thought to yourself, what if there were two Paul Rudds? If you have, your wishes have come true!
Netflix has unveiled a new eight-part series called “Living With Yourself,” about Miles Elliot, a depressed advertising executive going through an early-midlife crisis. On the suggestion of one of his colleagues, he decides to visit a spa with mysterious powers of reinvigoration, located in a dingy part of town. He almost changes his mind but seeing Tom Brady (yes, THE Tom Brady) exit the spa, he decides to give it a go.
Draining his savings, Miles signs up and undergoes an obscure procedure. The result is a peppier, perkier clone of himself, Miles 2.0 (also played by Rudd).
The problem is that only one was meant to survive the procedure. Old Miles wakes up in a shallow grave in the woods, wrapped in cling film and gasping for air. He runs home only to come face-to-face with another version of himself at his house. After a brief discussion and a drive back to the spa, they establish which Miles is the real version and which is the clone.
What follows is a narrative based on the banter between new and shiny Miles and the sad, redundant Miles. Much of the comedy comes from these interactions.
Talking about the very first scene of the show which has him bursting out of a grave, Rudd said that filming that was awful.
“It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to film. I’m not so claustrophobic really, but something within us knows that it’s not the right thing to be buried alive. There was a tube that went underground so I could breathe.”
He filmed the scene in a public park. Did people walk past?
“Yeah! But that’s the great thing about New York. Somebody getting out of the ground in a diaper is the third weirdest thing they’ve seen that day.”
Rudd empathises with the original, more jaded Miles more than you might expect.
“It’s relatable why he’s going to a ‘spa,’” he says. “His marriage is not in the best place, he’s not doing so well at work, everything in his life has been better, and he’s stuck. I think that’s something we all experience at different points in our life. We go to therapy, we want to go to the gym, we want to do everything we can to try and improve our mood, try and improve our appearance, try and improve everything.”
Having a clone doesn’t really improve things, though. And there are moral repercussions to Miles’ behaviour. Not least when it comes to his wife Kate (Aisling Bea), who calls his actions — and his subsequent decision to hide them from her — a “violation.”
“Did I take on the ethical implications?” he says. “I didn’t… I approach it as what the characters would think, and not so much what me, the human being, would think. Like, how do I feel about cloning in general? That was not my concern. I’m not the guy to ask!”“Living With Yourself” is now streaming on Netflix.
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