Some friendships endure because of mutual trust. Others last due to rivalry. But some of the most entertaining friendships come in the form of good-natured trolling, preferably within view of millions of online fans. It seems Avengers co-stars Paul Rudd and Jeremy Renner have gotten this idea down to a science.
For Renner’s 50th birthday, his good buddy Rudd of many years decided to celebrate in his own special way. The Ant-Man star sent his pal a birthday cake emblazoned with an image of the two Marvel friends embracing. Any misty eyes of sentimentality were quickly replaced with streaming eyes of laughter as Renner moved from the picture to the caption, which read “50 year old virgins.” Renner posted the cake to his Instagram story, saying “Love my friends.”
Rudd’s gesture, which seemed in similar spirits to Mark Ruffalo’s previous birthday tribute to Chris Hemsworth, was just as funny as fans would expect. The picture itself is hilariously shot showing Rudd with his arms around a smiling Renner, as if the two are young siblings posing for a department store family photo. Rudd, who is 51 himself (contrary to what his ageless appearance would suggest), has shared this friendship with Renner for some time now, and having them both pass the 50-year milestone likely feels like a bonding experience between the two superhero actors.
Rudd is well known for publicly showing his love for his friends, and the rest of the Avengers cast seem to be just as open with friends and strangers alike. From Sebastian Stan sending Anthony Mackie his own public birthday message to Rudd himself handing out cookies to early voters, there appear to be a lot of warm fuzzy feelings floating around among these stars. Chris Evans even notably gave a Captain America shield to a boy who saved his sister from a dog attack.
Seeing this sort of connection between such massive stars really helps to make them feel like regular people. It’s one thing to see them joking during press tours or giving prepared statements like Michael B. Jordan’s admittedly heartfelt tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, but there’s something special about seeing them genuinely act like friends in almost candid moments.
Some may argue that humanizing celebrities too much can set fans up for disappointment in the event that some dark secrets come out, and that viewpoint is perfectly valid. But for the moment, it seems perfectly harmless to enjoy some dorky fun between two very rich but still very human friends.