Aubrey Plaza plays Daisy in the new Adam Sandler/Seth Rogan film FUNNY PEOPLE. She describes her character, “…an upcoming comedienne who moved from LA to New York and she’s kind of like, new to the stand up circuit. She falls in with a crowd where she meets Jason Schwartzman’s character and Seth Rogan’s character. It’s kind of like the girl out of the guys comedienne. She’s a little weird and quirky.” Which seems appropriate. (Well, the quirky thing, not the weird thing.)
She cracked me up from the moment I met her, asking if I wanted her to put her shoes back on after I told her this interview was print. She also said, “I really like JoBlo,” which makes her even cooler. Plaza has a major improv background, performing in the UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE. She also stars as Amy Poehler’s intern April on the NBC series, PARKS AND RECREATION. And, as I’m sure all you graphic novel fans know, Plaza will be in the upcoming SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD with Michael Cera. She gave us the story on working on the film, breaking into the stand up world, and her desire for stalkers. (Not really boys…)
At one point in the film, your character is described as a “starfucker”. (Jason Schwartzman plays a minor celebrity and Daisy, well, you know where I’m going.) You’re all over the place now. Television, film…have you gotten any stalkers yet?
Um, no. I hope that happens soon. I really do. No one has stalked me yet. The stuff I’m in hasn’t really come out yet, so maybe people don’t want to stalk me yet. But hopefully…soon. I’d love to at least get a few early stalkers, and then maybe like, some really serious ones.
You have a pretty hardcore improv background. How much did you guys do? How much of the script was actually used?
Well, I would say that the script was, you know, obviously really strong, and everything was in there, but I think Judd (Apatow) just, he allowed us to kind of play when we did scenes, and kind of write on our feet sometimes. He was really, really open to everyone’s ideas. And also, he comes up with different ideas in the moment. So there was a lot of playing around.
This is a much darker story for Judd…
Yeah, I’d say it’s kind of like a hilarious movie about something really serious. [laughs]
A funny movie about death?
Yeah. [laughs] I think it’s a lot deeper than maybe some of the other things he’s done, but it’s just as funny, which makes it great. Truth in comedy I guess.
I read that you were cast in this because of the casting director for PARKS AND RECREATION. Is that true? How did that come about?
Well, I had met Allison Jones about this time last year, not about the movie. And I think in that meeting she kind of realized, oh, you might be kind of great for this think I have coming up. And she had me put myself on tape and send the tape into Judd. Then they brought me in and I read with Seth. But I think the thing that got me into the movie was the stand up that I did. I hadn’t done stand up before, and I knew that he wanted to cast some stand ups. So I filmed myself doing stand up for the first time and put it on YouTube and sent it to her. She sent it to him and that was kind of the final thing that made them want me, I guess.
I imagine the transition from improv to stand up is easier than just getting up there cold. What was it like for you?
It was pretty terrifying. [laughs] Improv is so different. You know? You’re with a group of people. You can rely on each other. Not all the pressure is on you, I think. And you’re coming up with it in the moment, so if something doesn’t work, the audience forgives you…but with stand up, it’s all you. It’s your material, it’s you delivering the material, how you say it and what you say. If you bomb, you can’t turn to anybody except for yourself, so it’s really scary to me. [laughs] But it’s been really fun and I have always wanted to do it. So this kind of shoved me right into it. Really fast. Which is what made me get really into it.
Will you go on tour now? Is this something you want to continue with?
Yeah, yeah. I want to continue doing it, absolutely. I’m going to Montreal next week and I’m doing shows every night. And I kept doing it after we finished shooting.
There’s a lot of stand up clips in the film. How much did they actually shoot?
They shot every single time that I did a show. They followed me to every gig, no matter how small the show was. The camera crew followed me, even if it was an open mike in some shitty bar, they would follow me. A lot of it was for research, or maybe the DVD, you know, to document it. It wasn’t necessarily for the actual film. But it was a lot. I mean, I went up three to four times a week when I got out here.
I know you have SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD coming up with Michael Cera. Where are you in shooting that?
Yeah, I just wrapped. I’ve been back and forth since the spring, and I just finished last week. It was really fun.
Were you familiar with the graphic novel?
No, I only heard about it when I got the audition notice and then I went out and bought one of them. The one that it’s based off of. The second volume. And I liked it so much that I got all of them. It’s so, it’s really really funny. And I don’t read comic books or graphic novels. So I was kind of surprised how funny it was.
Is this going to turn you into a graphic novel fan?
Yeah! Kind of. And hanging out with Bryan O’Malley, the writer…he’s so cool, and like, weird. I don’t know. It’s definitely opened me up to that world. For sure.
I’m a graphic novel fan/geek and I know the comic, but for those who don’t, can you tell us about your character in the film?
I play Julie Powers. She’s Stephan Stills’ (Mark Webber) on-again, off-again girlfriend. He’s in “Sex Bob-Omb”, which is like, the band that Michael Cera’s character is in. And she’s kind of like a little antagonist to Scott Pilgrim. They kind of hate each other. But they’re all in the same kind of world..kind of like the indie band scene, twenty-something, post-college, Canadian people who are kind of trying to figure out who they are. She’s kind of an obnoxious, obnoxious [laughs]…but she’s likeable, I think. I mean, you can tell that her anger comes from a place of insecurity and she’s fun too. She throws parties. But she’s kind of…she thinks she knows everything. She’s that girl that you go, ugh. Not her.
So working with Michael Cera and Edgar Wright must have been a blast…
It was amazing. Yeah. I was a huge Edgar Wright fan before the movie. SHAUN OF THE DEAD is one of my favorite movies, so that’s been crazy. He’s so funny and so good at what he does. It’s the perfect movie for him to do, I think. Technically and the style of it, mixed with the comedy. He’s great. And Michael Cera is like, probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. So getting to scream at him all day was really, really great.
You’ve also got MYSTERY TEAM coming out…
MYSTERY TEAM I did last spring. It was the first feature film I’ve ever been in…it’s about these three guys who are high school students and they’re kind of like “Encyclopedia Brown” style detectives. They were childhood detectives. The movie starts when they’re seniors and they’ve kind of outgrown that phase of their lives. But they still want to prove to the town that they’re still detectives, so a murder happens. And to prove that they’re still detectives, they try to solve this murder mystery. And my character…I play a character named Kelly who lives in the town and her parents were killed. And the main character has a crush on me, so he’s like, if I can solve this murder, her parents being killed, then maybe she’ll go out on a date with me. [laughs]
A great way to hit on anyone. [laughs]
It’s a comedy. [laughs] But it’s really, really, really funny.
From Jo Blo