Paul Rudd, who played Ant-Man in Marvel's eponymous blockbuster, lived up to his heroic title when he befriended a 12-year-old Colorado student whose classmates wouldn't sign his yearbook.
Cassandra Riddler was devastated when her son, Brody, came home to discover his yearbook only had a handful of signatures—including his own.
“Hope you make some more friends. — Brody Ridder," the seventh-grader wrote to himself.
On Facebook, Cassandra shared a photo of her son's yearbook, which was only signed by two classmates and two teachers from the Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster where he is a student.
"It broke my heart," wrote Cassandra.
Her post eventually got Rudd's attention. He sent a package to the seventh-grader last month that included an Ant-Man helmet signed by the actor with a special message.
“To my good friend Brody for when he takes on the world!”
Rudd also wrote a note for Brody, reminding him it was “important to remember that even when life is tough that things get better."
“There are so many people that love you and think you’re the coolest kid there is—me being one of them!"
"I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to accomplish.”
Cassandra was moved by Rudd's kindness.
"Guys more tears," she captioned her Facebook post, adding, "Paul Rudd is an amazing human being. Brody and Paul are on texting terms now the text message got me."
A screenshot showed Rudd texted Brody, alerting him he sent him "something" and that it would show up that day.
In response, Brody told Rudd he was his "favorite super hero," to which the actor wrote back, "You're mine."
The hearwarming exchange tugged at Facebook's heartstrings.
Twitter users were also moved.
\u201cThank you #PaulRudd what a kind man you are! Always loved you but now even more!! In a world full of hate be a #PaulRudd \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc99 https://t.co/MsW8CuWl1A\u201d— tinker (@tinker) 1657193289
\u201c@_antmanda this has me sobbing \ud83e\udd79\u201d— amanda \ud83d\udc9c (@amanda \ud83d\udc9c) 1656943694
\u201c@_antmanda Paul Rudd seems like a saint.\u201d— amanda \ud83d\udc9c (@amanda \ud83d\udc9c) 1656943694
Cassandra said her son had been attending the school since the fifth grade after she switched schools to give her son more academic support.
Brody has struggled to fit in ever since.
“There’s kids that have pushed him and called him names," said Cassandra. "Brody has been through a lot.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Brody said when he asked his classmates to sign his yearbook on May 24, “they told me no. It made me sad."
Cassandra told the paper:
“We try to teach kindness in our family, and not seeing any kindness from students in his class was appalling to me."
As a student, she recalled how signing yearbooks was "all the rage."
“That people would tell him no and deny him a signature, it just hurt my heart," she said.
Cassandra's intention by posting about Brody's bullying on a private Facebook group for parents at the school was to spread awareness.
She hoped that while others would prefer to keep such matters private, her being forthright about students and bullying at the school would prevent her son and other students from being targeted further.
The post also prompted older students at the school to rally together and fill his yearbook with supportive messages.
The outpouring of love demonstrated by the older students proved there are heroes among us.
And sometimes, you get Paul Rudd to personally encourage you and remind you that things will get better.
That's not bad either.