Jason Segel and Paul Rudd: Neil Peart a ‘Thunderbolt of a Human Being’
Paul Rudd and Jason Segel — who portrayed perhaps cinema’s biggest Rush fans in I Love You, Man — both remembered drummer Neil Peart in loving statements to Rolling Stone. Peart, along with his Rush bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, appeared in the 2009 comedy, as well as a promotional short for the film.
“I’m so sad to hear about Neil Peart’s passing,” Segel tells Rolling Stone. “Drumming to ‘The Spirit of Radio’ was one of my happiest moments. Getting to know Neil even the tiniest bit, and gush with Rudd about our love for Rush, will be something I remember forever. He was an amazing talent and a good man. We will miss you Neil.”
I Love You, Man wasn’t the first time Segel showcased his love of Rush on-screen: His Freaks and Geeks character Peter was also a huge fan of the band. “He’s the greatest drummer alive,” Segel’s character said of Peart in one episode.
In addition to performing in I Love You, Man, Rush also shot a Funny or Die video that saw Rudd and Segel’s characters wander backstage into the band’s dressing room.
“When I first met Neil, I was intimidated as I certainly knew him to be a serious and private person,” Rudd said. “Within two minutes, we were cracking up and quoting lines from Team America. I’m missing him as I write this. Being the greatest drummer on the planet was only a part of Neil. He was a thunderbolt of a human being, and he’ll live forever.”