Don’t expect Aubrey Plaza to be “on” all the time, although she might make you chuckle unintentionally. As one of the hottest young comediennes, Plaza’s mix of sarcastic, deadpan humor will make you cringe before you belt out laughing. Not only has she been tickling the funny bones of hundreds for the last two seasons of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” but she’s certain to have audiences rolling in the hilarious new film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, where she plays the mean-spirited Julie Powers. We chatted with Plaza about bonding with the Scott Pilgrim crew, her secret geeky side, and being on top of the world.
nocheLatina: Do people expect you to be funny all the time?
Aubrey Plaza: I don’t know what they expect. I feel a little bit of pressure to be funny just because that’s how people see me on TV. I definitely put that pressure on myself. I usually just come across weird and people think that’s funny. I guess just being myself is funny, whether I mean for it to be or not.
nocheLatina: Were you always funny as a kid, or was this something you discovered about yourself recently?
Aubrey Plaza: Until about sixth grade I was pretty quiet and wouldn’t consider myself a class clown during those years. Once I got into middle school I was definitely one of the funny ones. I was always doing some type of weird public prank, dressing up in strange costumes, or doing characters. I was definitely a weirdo. I don’t know where it came from. It just kind of happen out of nowhere. I think if you talk to people that I went to school with they’d probably tell you I was a bit of a class clown.
nocheLatina: Are you getting recognized more now?
Aubrey Plaza: Yeah. It’s happening more and more. I think a lot of people are watching ‘Parks and Recreation’ more now. I get recognized from that a lot. I think I’m one of those actresses that people might recognize, but they don’t say anything about it because I’m not that exciting of a person to spot. If people recognize me maybe they keep it to themselves. I have friends like Michael Cera who, when he gets recognized, people go crazy because they can’t believe he’s in front of them. I don’t think I’m at that level yet. It goes unnoticed. But I can feel it sometimes.
nocheLatina: What’s one cool thing about being famous?
Aubrey Plaza: I don’t know. Am I famous? Sometimes I get really great shampoo for free. The more stuff I do the more free stuff I get, which is kind of nice.
nocheLatina: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World looks like a fun movie to be a part of.
Aubrey Plaza: Shooting the scenes was actually a bit of a challenge. I never worked with a director like Edgar Wright before. He’s very precise and it’s more different than the improv-inspired projects I’ve worked on in the past. The cast was so much fun. It’s such a great group of comedians and actors. Everyone brought their own unique energy to the set. We had a blast. It was kind of like going to the best adult camp in the world with no rules. And we’re continuing to have fun even after the movie. We all became really close. I think that’s a testament to how much of a good time we had.
nocheLatina: We’re you aware of the comics before you were offered this role?
Aubrey Plaza: I was not aware of the comics. I’m not really into comic books that much, or at least I wasn’t, but when I auditioned for the film they told me it was based on Brian Lee O’Malley’s series. So I went out and bought it, kind of half expecting to not really be into it. But I read all of the volumes I think in two days. They were so good and funny, I got into it right away. I had no idea I was going to like it that much.
nocheLatina: How would you describe your character?
Aubrey Plaza: Julie Powers! How can I describe her? She’s definitely a negative force in Scott Pilgrim’s life.She’s kind of a social butterfly, that obnoxious girl in the group who knows everyone’s business and always has an opinion you don’t want to hear. You kind of love her, but you hate her at the same time. She’s just not that much fun to be around with. Scott Pilgrim tries to avoid her, but she pops up in all the wrong places.
nocheLatina: It’s been said that Julie Powers hates Scott Pilgrim because deep down she really likes him. Do you feel that’s true in any way?
Aubrey Plaza: I don’t think you can have such a strong hatred for someone if it’s not coming from a deep-seeded love for them because she wouldn’t care enough to berate him in public like she does. That actually came from a note that Brian and Edgar gave me. They gave these secret factsheets about each character before we started shooting. Some of the facts were in the book and some weren’t. This one was not in the book and I was told to keep it secret, but I can talk about it now. One of them was that Julie has always had a crush on Scott, but he never liked her back. He does like all of her friends. She hates him so much because he never gave her the time of day and she doesn’t understand why. That’s a motivation I tried to use.
nocheLatina: Are you anything like Julie Powers?
Aubrey Plaza: Well, I used to work in a coffee shop once and I was not a pleasant barista. I had really bad customer service skills like Julie. So that’s something I relate to her on.
nocheLatina: Did this movie get you interested in comic books, video games, or anything geeky like that?
Aubrey Plaza: I can’t say honestly that I’ve played new video games since the movie, but it has opened my eyes to comic books for sure. I was never really into them, but after reading this one I’m definitely interested in checking some new ones out. But I guess the movie was just kind of nostalgic for me. I remembered a lot of the video games I played when I was a kid and how that felt. It was cool to watch the movie and remember that, but I’m not really much of a gamer. I’m definitely a geek in my own way.
nocheLatina: What sort of geeky stuff are you into?
Aubrey Plaza: I’m a film improv comedy nerd. I was really into knowing all the improvisors that were coming out of Chicago. I don’t know if that’s geeky or not, but I guess it could be to some people. And I’m really into Judy Garland. I listen to her records a lot instead of cool music. I don’t know if that’s geeky either or just really strange.
nocheLatina: Are you currently filming new episodes of ‘Parks and Recreation’ for the upcoming season?
Aubrey Plaza: We filmed six new episodes for season three in the spring and we’re currently on a hiatus. But we’re going back to shooting in September to finish the rest of season three.
nocheLatin: What’s next for you?
Aubrey Plaza: There’s nothing really I can talk about at this time. There’s definitely some film projects floating around. Hopefully I’ll be working on more movies. I’d like to do some dramatic films.
nocheLatina: Are you still doing stand up?
Aubrey Plaza: I haven’t done a show since the spring. I kind of took a break when we were shooting, but it’s definitely something I’m going to keep up. I’ve been writing some new material lately so I’m going to start getting out there soon.