Your latest film, “About Alex,” has been called “ ‘The Big Chill’ for millennials.” Is there a way to describe it that doesn’t sound like a terrible studio pitch? I’m the worst at describing anything. I can barely put sentences together. It’s about a bunch of friends who go in the woods and some of them have sex with each other and some of them fight and they learn things and you realize that the only thing that matters is love and the connections we have and that the Internet is evil.
Your character in “About Alex” is not at all like April Ludgate, your character from “Parks and Recreation.” Is it a challenge to play someone who isn’t droll or deadpan, or is it a relief to finally get away from that? It’s a fun challenge to make people accept me as not April and to show that I can do more than roll my eyes. But everything is a challenge for me. Waking up is challenging for me. I can barely put my clothes on in the morning.
You’re so sarcastic that it’s sometimes difficult to tell when you’re being sincere. Believe me, it’s a bigger problem for me. I don’t even know when I’m being serious or not. I can’t tell how I truly feel about anything.
Can your friends or family tell when you’re being genuine with them? Sometimes. I think it’s just the tone of my voice that throws people off. Zooey Deschanel recently told me, “Everything that you say to someone sounds like you’re mocking them.” I was like, “But I’m not.” And she was like, “Even when you just said that, it sounded like you were mocking me.”
You have another movie coming out this month, “Life After Beth,” in which you play a zombie. Did you watch a lot of classic zombie movies to prepare for that? I decided to purposely not watch anything and just kind of wing it. Because I have this brewing demonic monstrous energy inside of me, and I’ve never really had a way to express it. So I didn’t prepare at all. I just went with my instincts. I was like, I’m just going to see what happens when I tap into my monster self.
I doubt many people think, Aubrey Plaza, yeah, she’s got a real rage inside her. That’s a bit surprising. I’m holding a lot of things in. Let’s just leave it at that. Every movie that I do is cathartic, because in my real life I do have a problem with, you know, emoting and letting my feelings out.
The movie also stars your B.F.F., Anna Kendrick. Is it fair to describe her as your B.F.F.? For your purposes, yes. Why not?
You’ve gone on a trip to Mexico with her. You were her Oscars date. You tweet to each other adorably. It seems only a matter of time before you get matching tattoos. It’s true. We have a very deep connection, and it’s hard to have friendships in this town. We have a mutual respect for each other, professionally and personally. And we’re also sexually attracted to each other. That’s another kind of layer of our relationship. We always talk about how we were born in the wrong era of Hollywood. I feel like we could have really ruled the 1930s MGM studio system. If we’d been signed with MGM, we would have owned that [expletive]. But it’s not really like that anymore.
Why does the old Hollywood studio system seem so appealing to you? There’s just something kind of old-school about being signed with a bunch of other actresses and having to hustle and compete in that way. Now any old person can just, you know, pop up out of nowhere.
I thought you were going to say YouTube and the kids. Well, I was going to say that. Still, I want Mr. Meyer to, like, call me up to his office and tell me that I’ve got a four-picture deal. That’s what I want, but that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’ve got to do sexy photo shoots, and I don’t even know what I’m doing.
You don’t like the promotional part of it, the photo shoots and interviews and talk shows? Have you ever seen me on a talk show? I’m the worst interview guest ever.