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Not only has Paul Rudd repeatedly helped save the Marvel Cinematic Universe onscreen, but he's also a superhero in real life as well. According to NPR, the star of the Ant-Man franchise recently reached out to Brody Ridder, a 12-year-old boy in Colorado who had experienced months of bullying at his school. His mother, Cassandra Ridder, reached her breaking point when Brody brought home his yearbook that only two teachers and two students signed. "Hope you make some more friends," Brody wrote in a heartbreaking note to himself.
That spurred his mom to try and teach her community a lesson in kindness. Taking to the school's Facebook page for parents of students, she posted a note about Brody's treatment. "My poor son. Doesn't seem like it's getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook. Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered Teach your kids kindness."
That post spread beyond her Denver suburb, eventually reaching Rudd, who has a history of helping out kids in need. The actor is one of the founders of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, a star-studded charity event that raises funds for the children's health organization, Children's Mercy. Last month, Rudd attended the BSCC's 2022 edition, answering fan questions and playing alongside celebrity pals like Adam Scott and Rob Riggle in a softball game.
After hearing Brody's story, Rudd reached out to the Ridders and arranged a FaceTime chat with the Marvel fan. He followed that up with a personal letter that read: "It's important to remember that even when life gets tough that things get better. There are so many people that love you and think you are the coolest kid there is — me being one of them!"
And Rudd's generosity didn't stop there. He also sent Brody a signed Ant-Man helmet that's now proudly displayed in the boy's bedroom. "We put it in one of those little helmet cases," his mom told NPR. "He's so proud of it."
And it's not just Marvel celebrities stepping up to do the right thing for Brody. After his mother posted her Facebook note, older students at his school made a point of snapping selfies with the 12-year-old and signing his yearbook. "He is just over the moon," Cassandra Ridder said in her NPR interview. "He is so excited. He feels hopeful for next year. He's excited to try to put himself out there to make more friends."
Talk about your Young Avengers.