Superstar George Clooney and ‘Ant-Man’ Paul Rudd Were Both on This 90s TV Show
Before Paul Rudd donned his Ant-Man suit to join the Marvel Universe and George Clooney became a Hollywood powerhouse, they both honed their acting skills on various television shows. Few realize that the two megastars once shared the small screen in a popular NBC series.
The show was a fan favorite
Sisters premiered on NBC in 1991, according to Today, with a focus on the lives of the Reed sisters – Alex (Swoosie Kurtz), Teddy (Sela Ward), Georgie (Patricia Kalember), and Frankie (Julianne Phillips). The series ran for six years and cultivated a “devoted cult of fans” as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
The program dealt with issues that were controversial at the time, including infidelity, assisted suicide, and surrogacy. The four women shared a bond onscreen and also off-screen. ““From the beginning we had chemistry on camera, but we had chemistry in real life, too,” Kurtz told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m an only child, so I thought, ‘This is my chance. Siblings by proxy.’ ”
The show ended up being a springboard for celebs who were just starting out, including Clooney and Rudd.
Rudd joined the cast in Season 3
Rudd played Kirby Philby, an aspiring filmmaker who eloped with with Alex’s daughter Reed, played by then up-and-coming actress Ashley Judd. The couple ends up having a daughter together, where Kirby decides to give up his dream of making movies and opens a video store (remember, it’s the 90s). The couple winds up divorcing on the show.
According to TV Line, Sisters was one of Rudd’s first TV roles, appearing in 20 episodes across three seasons. Rudd left the show to star in the 1995 cult classic Clueless, which kicked off his film career.
Clooney made an impression on the cast
Clooney started on the show in Season 4 as Detective James Falconer, who ends up falling for and marrying Teddy, played by Ward, according to Entertainment Weekly. Clooney’s character was killed off when he left to take on the role of Doug Ross in NBC’s upcoming blockbuster ER. Kalember recalled Clooney mentioning the pilot to her. “I remember sitting in the trailer with him and he was like, ‘there’s a pilot that they want me to do and it’s a sure thing,’” Kalember told Entertainment Weekly. “’But there’s this other show produced by Spielberg that I really want.’” That other show was ER.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Clooney talked of his time on Sisters with fondness. “Sisters was a grand show to be on. Everybody is real nice,” Clooney said in the article. “I love all of those girls. We really had a fun time. But the show is called Sisters and it will always be called Sisters. I will never be a sister. I put on a long red wig and tried it, and it didn’t work,” he joked.
Clooney was obviously a hit with the cast. Kurtz told Entertainment Weekly, “This isn’t Monday morning quarterbacking—I knew he had it… That chemistry. That charisma. I felt it and it was special. What you don’t almost ever get in a guy that gorgeous is a sense of humor about himself. Those two qualities rarely occur in one man. That’s the beauty of George.”
Phillips talked to Entertainment Weekly about Clooney’s easy-going nature. “I ran into George a few years ago and I said to him, ‘I told you not to leave Sisters! Your career has never recovered,’” Phillips quipped. “It was great to see him. He’s so incredibly sweet and kind. Just the same George as he always was… George was a goofball. He was the proverbial clown. We’d sit in the trailer and see who could tell the dirtiest jokes.”
“None of us wanted him to leave,” Ward said in the article. “I remember after I won an Emmy he said to me, ‘I’m just riding on your coattails.’ And now here he is… I saw him at an Academy Awards party and wanted to say to him: ‘okay, do I get to ride your coattails now?’”
Clooney will be making a return to television in Hulu’s Catch-22, which he stars in and serves as executive producer, according to BBC.