Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Cinco Paul ’86: Gru 2

What does a villain do after abandoning his dream of being the world’s greatest super-villain, instead settling down to raise his three adopted daughters in Nice Guy Land? If he is Gru, star of the 2010 kids’ film Despicable Me, he comes out of retirement to work for the Anti-Villain League—and, of course, to star in Despicable Me 2.

The sequel, which premiered in Los Angeles on June 23 and opens nationally on July 3, is cowritten by Yale English major Cinco Paul ’86, who abandoned his dream of pop-music stardom for the humdrum world of Hollywood screenwriting. With writing partner Ken Daurio, Paul scripted such movies as Bubble Boy, Horton Hears a Who, and the Despicable duo.

The father of three daughters, Paul happily acknowledges that he and Daurio draw on their real-life parenting experiences for movie material. In Despicable Me 2, “the oldest daughter, Margo, gets interested in boys, which is a nightmare for Gru,” he tells Film Journal. “He has weaponry and things that we as dads would love to use but just can’t, so it’s fun to see Gru take out the boy.”

William J. Paul Jr. acquired his nickname from his birthdate—May 5, or Cinco de Mayo. As an undergraduate, he played trombone and wrote for Yale Precision Marching Band, which might be where he first hatched the idea for Gru to steal the moon.

Filed under Cinco Paul, Despicable Me, film
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