Parks and Recreation
Thursdays 8:30/7:30c • TV Series • April Ludgate
Don't miss a special one-hour season finale at a special time, Thursday April 24th at 8/7c.
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The To Do List
2013 • In Theaters July 26th • Brandy
Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.
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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
2013 • In Theaters & On Demand Now • Marnie
A graphic designer's enviable life slides into despair when his girlfriend breaks up with him.
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Safety Not Guaranteed
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.
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Aubrey Plaza Web is an un-official fan site. We have no affiliation with Aubrey Plaza, her family, her representatives or anyone associated with her.
Reasons to love Aubrey Plaza
|Is Aubrey Plaza Really Bringing Daria to the Big Screen?|
After Aubrey Plaza’s pitch-perfect spoof of Daria Morgendorffer appeared on CollegeHumor, rumors of a big screen revival of the ’90s after-school staple abounded. And while late-twentysomethings are totally ready to dust off their Five Star spirals and *69 their very own high-school Trents (oh my gawd, that soul patch), the Parks and Recreation star remains somewhat mum on the topic. “I have no idea!” she tells ELLE.com via e-mail. “I heard that there were rumblings, but I don’t know.”
One film role that is a sure thing? Playing Dane DeHaan’s zombie girlfriend in real-life boyfriend Jeff Baena’s directorial debut, Life After Beth (which was picked up for distribution by A24 five days after its Sundance premiere). In a glowing review, Variety called Plaza’s an “increasingly intriguing career.” And despite being known for her acerbic delivery—Is April Ludgate responsible for the death of the Manic Pixie Girl trope?—her recent spate of indies, such as last year’s Safety Not Guaranteed, continue to reveal a softer, more dimensional side to the comedienne. “I do not want to do the same thing over and over again, she explains. “I work hard to find diversity in the roles I choose.”
To that end, Plaza refuses to come unhinged in the presence of an awkward situation. “I don’t get embarrassed having to do anything as far as acting,” she says. And despite earlier protestations, she still tends to slip back into trademark sarcasm: “In real life, however, it is totally embarrassing to act like an insane carnivorous zombie,” she says. “People are always put off by that.”
Yeah, totally lame people.
|Popsugar Interview At Sundance|
Aubrey Plaza plays a zombie in her new film Life After Beth at the Sundance Film Festival, and apparently it took more than just practice to get her character perfect for the big screen. Aubrey joked that there were some “drugs” involved too. Plus, you won’t believe what she said about Amy Poehler’s recent Golden Globe win.
|Why Aubrey Plaza Still Wants to Lick Dane DeHaan’s Face|
Zom-com-rom-dram. Maybe you’ve never heard the term before, but wait until you catch Life After Beth, the Sundance film starring Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza as a zombie and Chronicle’s Dane DeHaan as the man who loves her. It’s the kind of film that didn’t just require the two to have good chemistry, but to get close . . . like way too close. “It wasn’t hard to lick his face and try to eat him,” Plaza told V.F.’s Krista Smith. “I want to do it right now.”
Though DeHaan and Plaza both have their experience with indies—Plaza in last year’s The To Do List, DeHaan in Lawless and The Place Beyond the Pines—he’ll be the one making a major leap to blockbusters this year with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, coming to theaters in May. “Honestly, the majority of it wasn’t green-screen-madness action, “DeHaan told Smith. “I think that’s one thing that’s really cool about Spider-Man. It’s also a lot of human stories.” That said, there’s plenty of action, and DeHaan’s muscles know it. “I worked with a trainer six days a week, and by the end of it, I was eating 5,500 calories a day.”
Having played a super-villain in Chronicle, the recipient of a punch to the face in The Place Beyond the Pines, and burn victim in the Metallica movie Metallica Through The Never, DeHaan says he was relieved not to be the one in the makeup chair for hours. That job fell to Plaza, who said the “full-on, stage-four zombie” makeup took three to four hours to accomplish. “It was my first time being in prosthetics or anything like that, so it was always interesting to me,” Plaza said. She also told DeHaan she wouldn’t mind getting burn makeup like he had in Chronicle. “Yeah, I would like for you to,” he told her. With nothing but love, of course.
Now, this is the role Aubrey Plaza was born to play. In Life After Beth, written and directed by Plaza’s real-life boyfriend of many years Jeff Baena (who co-wrote I Heart Huckabees), the Parks and Recreation star finds her first great synergy with a big-screen character as a girl who comes back from the dead but doesn’t realize she’s dead and keeps trying to date her bereft boyfriend (Dane DeHaan). The story plays out less like a zombie movie than a relationship movie, tracing the emotional arc of the living — like DeHaan, and John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon as Beth’s parents — who grieve over the young woman’s death, eschew all sanity when she comes back to life, and enjoy her company all over again.
Baena wrote the script ten years ago, and like Beth, it’s been resurrected. “It was probably informed by the evolution of a relationship that went to shit and you try to get back together, if you broke up. But that was unconscious,” he said in the post-screening Q&A. Jada Yuan spoke with Plaza, who said she was starving and hung-over, about how to play the undead, Parks and Rec getting renewed, and being chained to an oven she carried on her back, which was “really special.”
Plaza [into my recorder]: Rrrrraaaahhhhhhhhhhh. That’s my zombie voice. I have such low blood sugar.
Has playing a zombie been a dream of yours?
No, it has not been a dream of mine, but it’s a nightmare of mine now … okay, let’s talk normally. I’m not obsessed with zombie movies or anything. I was more interested in the story of the movie. The relationship between Beth and Zach [Dane DeHaan] made me love the script because it reminded me of my high school, college relationships.
What reminded you of high school, college relationships? Because I do think it really is a relationship movie.
Like the relationships that you have with the other person’s parents and those kind of boundaries — I thought they were handled really well. And certain things that Zach and Beth do, like trying to find a place to go make out and have sex. I remember when you live with your parents, it’s like you can’t go to their house so you have to go make out in the woods or whatever, and that felt real to me because I remember that feeling. And I thought that the love that they had is very young love and I liked it.
Jeff was saying the movie is a metaphor for when you break up with somebody and then you try to get back together with them.
I think definitely one of the themes of the movie is breakups, and how weird they are and how when you break up it almost is like they die. And I think the movie explores, Well, what if they came back and you could say all the things that you wanted to say to them that you didn’t say when you were together? It’s kind of messing with those ideas.
And you say those things but then it’s still never the same.
Right, then you still have to shoot them in the head and they die.
How did you prep for being a zombie — did you work on your zombie voice?
No, but I weirdly enough have this demon voice that I’ve been doing since I was a kid, so I got to use that voice, and then Jeff and I realized, Oh, it’s weird that I didn’t have to prepare a demon voice, that I just had that one in my back pocket. I don’t think a lot of actors have those kind of voices or sounds that are just ready to go. [Does the demon voice.] This is my demon voice. I guess I’ve been preparing my whole life for this part as a zombie, because I’ve always had this weird demon voice inside me and now everyone knows. I just hope my mommy’s proud.
It seems like it would be really fun to play that part, when you destroy the house, wear a stove on your back.
Wear a stove on my back … that was … fun may not be the word. Hard.
Was it a fake stove?
It was the front half of a real stove and the back half of a fake stove, but it was heavy any way you stove it — what? [Laughs.] It was heavy, and I tore my abdominal muscles when I did some of those scenes. I actually really got hurt.
Did you throw out your back, too?
I had back problems, yeah, but I didn’t throw it out. It was from standing up and then leaning back, and you’d think it would be really good exercise for my core but I just overdid it. Also, I don’t know how to exercise.
Onstage, Jeff said that you resurrected the script. What does that mean?
He’s written so many scripts, and we’ve been together for a couple years, and ever since I’ve been together with him, a lot of people have said, “Oh, have you ever read this one script that he wrote that’s, like, the best script?” Because he tried to get it going years ago and studio, whatever, bullshit happened and it fell apart for whatever reason. But it was a script that still stuck in a lot of people’s minds and one of my agents at the time was one of those people. And Jeff is not the kind of person — he doesn’t like talking about work, we don’t talk about work that much. He’s not into business stuff or whatever, so he’s never given me a script and been like, “Do this.” So I kind of had to make him let me read it. And then I read it and it was so fucking good, and it felt perfect for me and he felt the same way, so then we started the process.
What was the directorial relationship like, given that you have a personal relationship?
It was great. I was nervous. I was like, We’re either going to break up or stay together forever.
Forever. [In her zombie voice, imitating something her character says constantly in the movie.] “Together forever. Together forever.” It was great, he’s a great director and that didn’t surprise me either because his brain is operating on another level — he’s too smart and he’s got so many opinions and he’s a very confident person that always knows what he wants.
Were there any moments when you were like, “We might break up”?
No, not one. The only weird thing was — and it wasn’t even weird, which is why it was weird — was all of the making out with Dane stuff. In my head, I was like, This is gonna be weird, I wonder how this is gonna go. [Jeff and I] never talked about it. We were never like, “Oh, in the scenes where I have to have sex with Dane, is it going to be weird?” And we did one take where Dane and I are really going at it and [Jeff] was like, “Cut.” In my head I was like, Oh my God, he’s gonna be weird about this and everyone was kind of quiet, and he walked over to me and was like, “Do you think you could get more into it and maybe moan a little bit louder and just kind of amp it up?” And I was like, “Copy that, you want me to moan louder? Okay, I can do that for you.” And then Molly [Shannon] and John [C. Reilly] were like, “You guys have a really weird relationship.”’ And later that night I was like, “Is it weird for you to direct me making out with other guys?” And his response was like, “You know my feeling: You’re going to be doing it anyway so I might as well be supervising it,” which I think is a great attitude to have.
Did you think you might go insane listening to all that smooth jazz? [Editor's note: Eventually, Beth starts to decay and grows so constantly agitated that the only thing that will calm her (and simultaneously give her an orgasm) is smooth jazz.]
Yes! No, I don’t mind smooth jazz that much, I play the saxophone, so …
Do you really?
Yeah. I actually played on this album on this track that just came online and I played on Conan once with a friend’s band. I’m not very good, but I’ve played since I was a kid. I liked the smooth jazz stuff. It was funny to have a trigger that’s supposed to basically give me an orgasm.
Are you just having an awesome time right now, given that Parks and Recreation got renewed just a few days ago?
I actually found out because Jim O’Heir, who plays Jerry on the show, is here [he's also in Life After Beth] and was shouting to me on the street, like “Seventh season!”’ and I was like, “What?! Shut up.” So that was bizarre.
And Amy Poehler won the Golden Globe.
I’m so psyched for her. It was so fun to celebrate her that night. I feel like she is always the funniest person in the room and whenever she doesn’t win I’m like, How can the funniest person not win? So finally the funniest person won, which I thought was pretty cool. It was just awesome to have our leader up onstage just leading the night and crushing it like she does. Wait, what was the question?
Oh, just I guess what was that like for you. And I’ll wrap this up: What do you think a seventh season means for April?
I’ve been saying this for two seasons now: If they don’t put a baby inside of me, I’m going to put one in myself, literally, so that they’re forced to write it on to the show! I declare. I just think the idea of her and Andy having quintuplets or something would be pretty hilarious. But I have no idea. I don’t know what they are going to do with her character.
Is this the final season?
I don’t know. I really was shocked that we got picked up, and so early. Every year, we all feel uncertain as to whether we’re going to go back or not, we’ve never felt secure. So I don’t know when the end will be, or when the beginning is — it’s all relative. We’re like the little engine that could. We’re just a little fighter guy. We’re not going anywhere.
|Aubrey Plaza & Matthew Gray Gubler Trade Places, Get Weird|
Aubrey Plaza is so cool. The more we read about Plaza, the more we watch her work, and the more we see her unfettered thoughts, the better she gets. She is no longer just a face on Parks & Recreation, but a real, bona fide movie star, known for taking witty roles in smart movies.
And, Matthew Gray Gubler is also so cool. He is no longer just a face for his TV show (Criminal Minds, by the way), and thanks to his whip-smart social-media presence, he has garnered a good 678,000 Twitter followers and a dedicated group of fans who belong to “Gublernation.” With three movies coming out in 2014 alone, his year is set to be incredibly huge.
One of those movies is the dark comedy Life After Beth, where he stars alongside Plaza herself and Dane DeHaan — with the latter two playing star-crossed lovers who have been torn apart by death and zombification.
We wanted to talk to Aubrey and Matthew about the role, resurrecting the zombie genre (pun intended), and working with great comedic ladies like Cheryl Hines or Molly Shannon. But, they had something else in mind: Aubrey and Matthew wanted to answer our questions, but only as the other person. So, we let them. Hey, who are we to hamper artistic creativity?
So, this isn’t your first Sundance. What’s it like being back and a little more established?
Gubler (as Plaza): “The six years of Parks & Rec have made me a little more poised, a little more confident. I’ve always had an interior burning confidence, though. I feel like my wings have finally spread. I just get it, you know?”
Plaza (as Gubler): “What do you get exactly, Aubrey?”
Gubler (as Plaza): “Well, I get how to really be a mover and a shaker.”
Plaza (as Gubler): “What’s the biggest thing you’ve shook?”
Gubler (as Plaza): “I’ve shaken…(long pause, Aubrey poised for his response). I feel bad. I don’t want to get too dirty.”
We don’t get dirty, but we do get weird. So, what was your most debaucherous Sundance moment?
Gubler (as Plaza): “My most debaucherous Sundance moment with me, Aubrey, was when I was in the hot tub with Andy Milonakis, Riff Raff, and John Stamos — that’s all you need to know. We were listening to Tony Danza’s CD.”
That’s a lot of hair. There would be a lot of hair in that hot tub.
Gubler (as Plaza): “A lot of hair. Hot. Hot hair.”
Would you want to be best friends with Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew?
Plaza (as Gubler): “Would I, Matthew Gubler, want to be best friends with Jennifer Lawrence? Does best friends mean I get to touch her boobies? All I like to do is touch boobies. I’m hungry and I like boobies.”
Fair enough. Do you want to be best friends with Jennifer Lawrence, Aubrey?
Gubler (as Plaza): “I am best friends with Jennifer Lawrence. We love having our boobies touched, like, all the time. She was in the hot tub that one time, she was.”
Aubrey (as Gubler): “We touch boobies together.”
Matthew, what do you think about the fact that there are a bunch of girls obsessing over you on Twitter?
Plaza (as Gubler): “I just love all the underage girls. I prefer my fans to be underage, and I like when they send photos of themselves to me. I keep them all on my phone. I have about 7,000 photos of underage girls on my phone. I look at them all day long.”
Do you send them out?
Plaza (as Gubler): “No, I keep them all to myself.”
Aubrey, would you rather be Bella, Hermione, or Katniss?
Gubler (as Plaza): “Can you tell me who Bella is?”
She’s the one in Twilight.
Gubler (as Plaza): “You know, I’ve always felt a real kinship to Bella, but I do have to admit, I’ve had some — I’m trying so hard not to be dirty. I’d rather be Bella because I want to kiss Robert Pattinson so hard, all over.”
Plaza (as Gubler): “Don’t you want to kiss Kristen Stewart more?”
Gubler (as Plaza): “I do. Doesn’t Kristen Stewart play Bella? I’m basing this on the fact that I would get to French kiss Robert Pattinson.”
Plaza (as Gubler): “I would like to also kiss Robert Pattinson — on his penis.”
If the other one of you was dead and came back to life, how far would you go to keep them?
Gubler (as Plaza): “I’d go to the ends of the earth. I’d find an inspiration, a source of love. I just feel really like myself around him. Getting to know him these past few months has been the greatest thing to ever happen to me. I date my life now as Before Matthew and After Matthew. The second after would feel like an eternity. I would do anything for him.”
Plaza (as Gubler): “What she said.”
Not even gross, rotting skin?
Gubler (as Plaza): “I’d prefer it!”
Writer/director Jeff Baena’s feature directorial debut Life After Beth puts a different spin on the zombie genre by revolving around a guy (Dane DeHaan) who must reexamine his relationship with his girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) when she unexpectedly comes back from the dead. The film just had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s a sharply funny spin on the traditional “zombie movie” that blends the genre with a dramatic look at relationships in general; it also features Plaza’s most impressive performance to date. The supporting cast is made up of a bevy of fantastic comedic actors including John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Matthew Gray Gubler, Anna Kendrick, and a host of delightful cameos.
Recently at Sundance, I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the film with its two leads, DeHaan and Plaza. During the course of our conversation, the two discussed the appeal of this non-traditional zombie conceit, working with the insanely talented cast, keeping the different stages of zombie deterioration straight while making the film, and more. Additionally, Plaza talks about the “love fest” that is the Parks and Recreation cast and DeHaan considers the craziness to come with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Collider: So how’s the festival going so far?
DANE DEHAAN: Good.
Have you been able to catch any good movies?
DEHAAN: Yesterday we saw, what was it?
AUBREY PLAZA: It was like a zombie drama. A Rom-zom-com. It was probably the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life.
DEHAAN: Yeah we were the stars of it.
It had pretty good leads in it?
PLAZA: It had great leads.
DEHAAN: Great leads. Great supporting cast too.
So what was your reaction when you found out the film got into Sundance?
DEHAAN: I was honestly very surprised (laughs).
PLAZA: Because you think it’s a piece of shit or something? Say how you feel.
DEHAAN: Because it’s called the Dramatic Competition and this is mostly a comedy. I wasn’t surprised we were going to Sundance, I was just surprised we weren’t in the Midnight category.
PLAZA: It’s true. It felt very good to be in the Dramatic Competition category.
Jeff was saying the same thing, but it also makes sense because the film is a zombie movie and it is a comedy, but it does have a dramatic bent to it.
DEHAAN: Yeah I think it’s a big complement to the movie and it’s been great how people have responded to it. It’s definitely hitting people on a bunch of different levels.
How did you feel tackling a more comedic role than you’re used to?
DEHAAN: I was really scared because I had never done a comedy before and I felt out of my element, but that’s also what I always look for in projects—something that’s gonna stretch me and make me uncomfortable. I had a really great cast behind me and some of my favorite comedians that I got to rely on kind of as a safety cushion. I was very happy that my first time I got to do it with people that are amazing and pros.
Read the rest of this entry »
|Aubrey Plaza on Being ‘Sexy in a Really Unsexy Way’ in The To Do List|
|Filed Under: Interviews, Videos • Posted on November 19th, 2013 by Jennifer • Comments Off|
Aubrey Plaza brings a great many things to her particular brand of comedy – sarcasm, irony, dryness – and in her first leading role she brought something else: sexiness. Though, in typical Plaza fashion, it’s more droll than hot.
“I think it’s sexy, in a really unsexy way,” Plaza tells WIRED of her turn in The To Do List.
In the flick, out today on DVD and Blu-ray, Plaza (Parks and Recreation) plays a valedictorian virgin named Brandy Klark who compiles a summer, yes, “to do” list that consist entirely of sexual acts – committing her ambitious nature to more carnal pursuits than academic ones. Naturally, this means that Plaza’s awkward wiles are put to good use in writer/director Maggie Carey’s first feature. “I do pride myself, they are some of the most unsexy sex scenes ever directed,” Carey jokes in the video above. “So I nailed that one.”
Check out more from Plaza, Carey, and co-star Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) in the video below.
|Aubrey Plaza Misses Her ‘Parks and Rec’ On-Screen Husband|
|Filed Under: Interviews • Posted on September 28th, 2013 by Jennifer • Comments Off|
It’s tough to pick a favorite character on Parks and Recreation, but Aubrey Plaza’s deadpan April Ludgate is a pretty solid candidate. As April, Plaza balances snarky wit with an endearing sense of loyalty and is one half of the show’s best couple. As tonight’s season six premiere kicks off, April is faced with a tough decision: Should she continue her career in local government or pursue a new path?
“April is trying to figure out what she’s going to do career-wise,” Plaza told ELLE.com at a dinner party hosted by J Brand and ELLE last night. “Right now it looks like she may go on the veterinarian track, but it’s questionable because she changes her mind a lot. [Her husband] Andy is in London working on a job so they’re having a long-distance relationship.”
Chris Pratt, who plays Andy, is actually in London filming the upcoming Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. “So many things on this show are strangely close to real life,” Plaza exclaimed when we mentioned that. “It’s so weird!” Tonight’s hour-long premiere was actually shot in London so at least Plaza got to spend a little time with her beloved on-screen husband, who will be mostly absent this season.
“It sucks not having Chris there!” Plaza told us. “I miss him all the time and April misses him equally, if not more. He’s just one of those people who creates a very happy, positive set. He’s always excited, singing, and making everyone feel good at five in the morning. I feel his absence every day and I’m counting the days until he’s back on set.”
One of the best parts of Parks and Rec is the slew of cool guest stars—exciting for fans, as well as for the actors. “There’s a lot of guest stars this season, but Sam Elliott was the big one,” Plaza said of the legendary film star. “He’s never been on a TV show before! Not ever, so that’s huge.” Why was he a stand out? “He’s in love with me and I’m in love with him,” she joked. “And he’s Sam Elliott!”
|Aubrey Plaza Mourns Loss of ‘Big and Soft’ Chris Pratt|
Although in this video Park and Recreation wisenheimer Aubrey Plaza insists, “I’m not good at scoops” – and isn’t joking – she does drop a biggie: the readiness of a certain character to fill the BFF void that’ll be left by Ann’s imminent exit.
Moreover, when not unintentionally auditioning for American Horror Story: Coven (what with the witchy wardrobe and enchanted necklace and all), the actress tells TVLine’s Michael Ausiello on the Emmy red carpet how very, very dull it is to work with the suddenly-buff Chris Pratt. (Yeah, right.) She also pitches a Parks plotline in which April becomes a baby-stealing veterinarian. (It could happen.)
Press PLAY for a chuckle – and to find out if Ausiello ever gets the sorceress to show him her magic wand!
|Rolling Stone Middle East Interview|
|Filed Under: Interviews • Posted on September 6th, 2013 by Jennifer • Comments Off|
AUBREY PLAZA IS THE MERYL STREEP OF EXASPERATION – from the perpetually annoyed April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation to an indignant ex-girlfriend in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, she has created a lethal arsenal of eye rolls, grunts and shrugs. Plaza is especially and awesomely put-upon in the sharp new film The To Do List, where she plays Brandy Klark, a brilliant but dorky high school grad who resolves to lose her virginity (and figure out what a “rim job” is) before she begins college. The 29-year-old actress, who is perennially referred to as “deadpan,” called from her car, and immediately began worrying that she’d be arrested
You’ve said The To Do List took you out of your comfort zone. What was uncomfortable about it?
All the sexual things I had to do. I was like, “Oh, man, I’m gonna have an orgasm on camera?” I was somewhere between slightly nervous and dry-heaving. This was all leading up to the movie.
So the anticipation of masturbating on camera made you nervous, but once you started doing it, you were OK?
Yeah. Once I got my hands in my underwear, it was fine.
When you do a movie about losing your virginity, you have to expect people are going to ask about your own virginity experience.
I do? Yeah, I realized that in the middle of a two-day press junket, when a reporter asked me for the 7 millionth time when I lost my virginity. I tend to not prepare for interviews, and then answer horribly and awkwardly. But I’m not telling anyone about my virginity. That’s my personal treasure! [Laughs]
I want you to tell me one thing that happens on Season Six of Parks and Recreation, but it doesn’t
have to be true. You can lie.
April’s been wanting to have a baby, and she’s gonna get more than she bargained for. That’s all I’m gonna say.
But that might be a lie.
That is definitely a lie.