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Just Back: Actor Paul Rudd, from Los Angeles

OCCUPATION: Actor

HOME BASE: New York City

ON THE ROAD: Rudd was recently in Los Angeles filming The Shape of Things, a movie version of the off-Broadway play by writer-director Neil LaBute. While there, he checked out a few hotels, including the celebrity haven Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 323/656-1010; doubles from $280). "I haven't stayed there, but I'd like to. It just seems the thing to do when you're in L.A. I like any hotel that has a big bowl of Granny Smith apples at the check-in desk."

FRENCH LESSONS: Rudd's latest completed movie is The Château, an improvisational comedy opening this month in which he plays a clueless American who inherits a ramshackle estate in France. The director "had written an outline, but there was no script, no dialogue," Rudd recalls. "We just had to come up with things on the spot. We knew where we had to go, but we had no idea how we were going to get there."

CINEMA VERITÉ: For added realism, the crew was planning to live in the titular house during the three-week shoot in France. Rudd had other ideas. "It was beautiful, but kinda shabby. I thought, 'This could be interesting, but screw it—I really want a hot shower.'"

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