11 Aug 17by Webmiss
LA Weekly – It’s Aubrey Plaza’s 33rd birthday, and she’s curled up on a couch in a deafeningly quiet, concrete-walled room at the Line hotel in Koreatown. She hugs her knees to her chest. Her T-shirt features a hyper-realistic image of Nicolas Cage’s face, and I can just see his toothy, maniacal smile peeking out from between her legs — it’s unnerving. Her hands fidget, knotting and unknotting a black string attached to a Santa Muerte charm. The actor hit stardom with her sardonic slacker character April on the NBC show Parks and Recreation and, like many TV stars on long-running shows, she has found it difficult to escape her monster creation. With a recent succession of mold-smashing projects — Legion, The Little Hours and Ingrid Goes West — she’s about to leave April behind. But who will she become? “If Andy Kaufman is alive, he should come and find me,” Plaza tells me. Kaufman is one of Plaza’s greatest influences. The comic actor died from cancer in 1984 but he melted so deeply into his myriad personas that there are people who still believe he is alive and simply playing a long con on his suffering audiences. If you’ve only ever seen Plaza on the uplifting comedy Parks & Rec, the Kaufman reference may not immediately resonate for you. But to friends and colleagues, she is a Loki trickster who revels in absurdity.
“I’m such a people pleaser that my natural reaction in interviews and things is to give people what they want. It’s like I’m a robot,” Plaza says. “‘Oh, these people want me to say something weird or mean or sarcastic, so I just do that. That’ll make them happy.’ I’m just now getting better at feeling more comfortable in my own skin, but it can be hard when people are projecting ideas onto you at full speed, constantly.”
“Nick Offerman knew every single person on set’s name, [he] was the most generous man to be working with, and if I would have a bad day and be annoyed or acting like a brat or whatever, he would be the first one to say, ‘Just remember we’re on network television, and our lives are spectacular,'” Plaza says, offering an ace Offerman impression. “And I’d be like, ‘Of course! Thank you. Fucking of course our lives are spectacular!'”