When you began filming the final season of Parks and Recreation, your TV husband, Chris Pratt (who plays Andy), had in real life just anchored last year’s biggest movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. How did success go to the head of one of the nicest guys around?
He forgot my name, which is the weirdest thing about the whole situation. I guess when you’re the star of a Marvel movie and super, super famous and you’re flown all over the world, you meet so many people that your ability to pay attention is gone. So yeah, he forgot my name. I mean my real name, not my character April on the show. I had to keep reminding him, and he’d say, “Oh right. Right, right.” But I don’t fault him, because being a movie star is hard. They say that movie stars meet 60 times more people than the average person, so of course your brain gets cloudy. I don’t hold that against him. I think he’s great. [laughs]
None of that is true, by the way. You told me it would be okay to lie. Chris did not forget my name. He’s the kindest, most amazing person ever, and he didn’t change a bit except that his fucking body is ripped beyond belief. He’s the same old lovable golden retriever of a man I had to hug and touch and kiss a lot—because it’s my job. I just tried to make the best of it.
Here’s a question from one of your Parks and Recreation cast mates. “When one examines your talent, beauty and humor, not to mention your excellent many teeth, it is quite apparent that you have entered into a bargain with Lucifer. What services did the Dark Father require of you in exchange for your winning glamours?”
That’s like a backhanded compliment. You’re not going to tell me who? Oh wait, I know. This is from Satan himself, the Dark Lord, Nick Offerman. We have an evil connection. It’s a very good question. The Dark Father required many things of me: the blood of a thousand infants, the teeth of a thousand corpses. I have it all written down on my iPad.
Does Nick require that you be as fearless as he is when it comes to getting or playing a part?
Do you mean having sex with people to get a part? We’re similar in that way too. He taught me that. He was one of the first people out here who told me you have to have sex with the most people you can, especially the ones who make decisions, and I said okay. You don’t even have to confine it to business. Use sex to get whatever you’re trying to get.
You’re TV’s modern queen of the deadpan look. Do you have a favorite?
A dead-eyes stare. No eyebrow movement, no facial creases at all; you just stare right into someone’s soul—the Botox deadpan.
You’re named after a song by Bread. When you think of bread, what kind comes to mind?
Just a straight-up bag of Wonder Bread. I would never buy that now, but I grew up on it, and SpaghettiOs and hot dogs and stuff like that.
You went to an all-girls Catholic high school. Defend single-sex education.
I loved it. I would send my kid to an all-girls school. Some people say it’s no good, that it’s not the real world and girls won’t learn how to interact normally. I disagree. At that age it was helpful to eliminate the distraction of guys in school. I like uniforms. I didn’t have to think about dressing myself or how I looked. I just focused on the important stuff. It made me more confident in the classroom.
Is show business conducive to long-term love relationships?
Oh God, I don’t think so, not from what I can see, and I look very hard for it. I’m curious about that. Whenever I meet a married couple who are in the business, I always ask them a million questions to figure out what’s really going on, because I don’t know how that’s going to work out. For a successful actor there are lots of choices and temptations. We’re all just human. Actors are like con artists. We want to make a memorable impression. Amy Poehler once gave me good advice. She said when someone is charming, it’s an action. Charm is a verb, not a quality.
You’ve said that you admire Charlie Sheen and Bill Murray because they’re unapologetic about who they are. Do you aspire to be part of that tradition? Famous people get lots of stuff projected on them and feel constantly judged. It can take a toll. Charlie and Bill, both of whom I’ve worked with, don’t seem affected by fame or status. They are who they are. I don’t even aspire to fame. I just want to work and not let anything else affect me. But I’m only human, so sometimes I care too much—or too little—about what others think.
We read that you wanted to play Dr. Bruce “the Hulk” Banner’s cousin, superhero She-Hulk. Given all the garment rending, describe her wardrobe options.
I don’t know if I was sober when I said that, but I would like that part. Give it to me. It would be fun to play a sexy scientist who gets really angry and can then do anything she wants. I would like to be wearing a sexy business-casual outfit that rips when I get big and then I’m wearing—I don’t know, maybe a sports bra and some boy shorts? Something sporty so I can run around and fuck shit up. Or maybe a slip, some kind of undergarments but keeping it classy.
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