Jason Segel and Paul Rudd pay tribute to “thunderbolt” Neil Peart after Rush featured in ‘I Love You, Man’

"Being the greatest drummer on the planet was only a part of Neil."

Jason Segel and Paul Rudd are the latest high-profile names to pay tribute to the late Neil Peart, after Rush played a key role in their hit 2009 movie I Love You, Man.

The iconic drummer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band died last week after a battle with brain cancer, sparking a vast array of tributes from the likes of Foo Fighters, Metallica and many more.

In a statement to Rolling Stone on Saturday, both Segel and Rudd opened up about their experiences of meeting the legendary drummer.

“When I first met Neil, I was intimidated as I certainly knew him to be a serious and private person,” said Rudd. “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.”

Neil Peart
Neil Peart performing on the band’s final R40 tour. Credit: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Segel added: “I’m so sad to hear about Neil Peart’s passing.

“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.”

Both Rudd and Segel portrayed Rush superfans in the 2009 comedy, which also featured cameos from Peart and his bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

Segel’s connection with Peart also stems back to the cult sitcom Freaks & Geeks, in which his character Nick refers to Peart as the “greatest drummer alive.”

Tool also recently performed a live tribute to Rush drummer Neil Peart during a  concert in San Diego.

Metallica, meanwhile, shared a live cover of Rush‘s ‘Tom Sawyer’ in honour of Peart.