Paul Rudd Loves Watching 'Friends' with His Daughter — but 'Then She'll Be Like, You're Not Joey'

The actor, now starring in The Shrink Next Door and the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, has been crowned PEOPLE's 2021 Sexiest Man Alive

When he's not being sexy, Paul Rudd is a busy man.

The actor, 52, who was just crowned PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive for 2021, is re-teaming with Will Ferrell for the new Apple TV+ series The Shrink Next Door and taking on one of Hollywood's most treasured franchises with the upcoming movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

But home in New York City with his wife of 18 years, Julie, 53, and their kids Jack, 17, and Darby, 12, is Rudd's happy place.

"When I think about myself, I think of myself as a husband and a father — like, I'm that," he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "I just hang out with my family when I'm not working. That's what I kind of like the most."

People Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd
Alexei Hay

Rudd, whose at-home attire consists of "T-shirts and gym shorts — with hotel slippers," insists his days off from work are pretty typical. "I get up and take my kids to school," he says. "If my wife was sitting next to me, she would do a spit take and then say, 'Okay.' But I do, I do. I'll try to do some form of exercise and read a bit, you know, maybe do a crossword puzzle. I like the idea of sitting and just taking in things."

Watch the full episode of Sexiest Man Alive: Paul Rudd on, or on the PeopleTV app.

People Sexiest Man Alive Paul Rudd
Alexei Hay

And while he doesn't usually pause to watch himself in something on television, Rudd has found it fun to see his daughter discover Friends.

For more on PEOPLE's 2021 Sexiest Man Alive issue, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

"I hadn't really revisited many of those episodes. But now that she's watching it, it's like, 'Oh, I remember this,' and I tell her some story about it," says the actor, who played Phoebe's [Lisa Kudrow] husband Mike on the hit series. "I'm far enough away from some things now that I can allow myself to be a little nostalgic about it. But then she'll just be like, 'Well, you're not Joey [Matt LeBlanc].'"

Paul Rudd throwbacks
NBCU Photo Bank

Despite his new title, Rudd has stayed grounded over the years because he's "never really felt as if I've earned anything," he says. "This is all a job. I don't put any false importance on it. It's all kind of fleeting and unimportant. My life and my day-to-day is the real stuff. And my family, they don't let anything slide. If anything, they go hard into the opposite, which is the way it should be."

Paul Rudd Children
Albert L. Ortega/Getty

For more of Rudd's exclusive interview and photos, pick up this week's special double issue, Sexiest Man Alive, on newsstands Friday.

So what will his kids think of his crown? "They're not going to buy this at all; I'm scared to tell them," Rudd says. "But once I do, they're going to point out the obvious, which is, 'You should have sooner won an award for biochemistry and your work on nuclear fusion than get nominated in this category.'"

"My kids are not going to buy into this hype machine," he adds. "They know better!"

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