Throughout the weekend, countless figures, from the music world and beyond, shared heartfelt words on the passing of Rush drummer Neil Peart. As superfans both on and off the screen, actors Jason Segel and Paul Rudd have now offered their own tribute to the late musician.
Back in 2009, the two actors portrayed Rush megafans in the comedy I Love You, Man, which featured brief appearances from Peart and bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. They even reprised the roles for another meeting with the Rush crew for a 2011 Funny or Die short. It turns out the two didn’t have to act too hard in those moments, as they both share a true appreciation for the band. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Segel and Rudd expressed their deep condolences over the loss of Peart.
“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.”
The I Love You, Man shoots weren’t Segel’s first time playing the part of a Rush aficionado, either. His character on TV’s Freaks and Geeks, Nick, was also a hardcore Rush lover. In one episode, he even referred to Peart as “the greatest drummer alive.”
“I’m so sad to hear about Neil Peart’s passing,” said Segel. “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.”
Revisit Segel and Rudd’s brushes with Rush below.