The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will be facing off in Super Bowl LVIII, but beyond the game and Usher’s halftime show, it’s all about the hilarious commercials! Access Hollywood exclusively was on the set of “The White Lotus” star Aubrey Plaza’s Mountain Dew commercial for the big game. She dished on what fans can expect from the spot, which also includes a cameo from her former “Parks and Recreation” co-star Nick Offerman. “I just saw him briefly, and we kind of just made eye contact in the hallway. It was [a] very classic April-Ron kind of situation,” she quipped. Aubrey also reflected on the success of “The White Lotus” and took fans on a fashion flashback through some of her top red carpet looks.
Aubrey Plaza likes a good cosmopolitan. The presentation doesn’t matter much — “I like a goblet,” she admits — but the recipe does: vodka, cranberry, lime, and specifically, Cointreau. As the face of the brand’s new Keep it Cosmo campaign, Plaza joins Contreau and Toby Cecchini, the inventor of the cosmo, in suggesting that we think pink for this year’s holiday fêtes.
“I don’t get too fancy with it, and I like the old-school iconic drinks,” Plaza says. “I like the margarita. I like the cosmopolitan. The ingredients are just refreshing. It’s a really simple crowd-pleaser.”
“Did Sex and the City invent the cosmopolitan?” shows up when anyone types the cocktail’s name into a search bar, and alongside the iconic HBO show, the cocktail has become a stand-in for unapologetic and flirtatious femininity. It’s a cross-generational crowd-pleaser. It reigned as the sophisticate’s drink of choice in 1980s NYC and popped off again in the aughts during SATC’s time on television — and now, it’s back to party.
“When I invented The Cosmopolitan in the autumn of 1988, I was trying to find way to make a super fun, grabby drink with fresh juice and top-notch ingredients,” says Toby Cecchini, inventor of the cosmopolitan. “A simple mix of vodka, fresh lime and cranberry all corralled and elevated by the unique orange notes of Cointreau. It was the work of experimenting for 15 minutes and has been going strong now for 35 years and counting.”
This month, Plaza makes her stage debut in the off-Broadway revival of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, which first premiered in 1983. A two-person play written by John Patrick Shanley, it tells a desperate, explosive love story, and Plaza stars opposite Christopher Abbott, whom she met four years ago on the set of Black Bear (he was also on Girls).
Read on for more on Plaza’s new cocktail campaign, how she’s prepping for her very first theater role, and who she’d love to have a cosmo with in New York City.
Aubrey Plaza will be featured in this weekend’s Sunday issue of The New York Times discussing her stage debut in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. You can read the article and see images from the photoshoot right here!
Aubrey Plaza Online > Photoshoots & Portraits > 2023 > Session 11
August 24, 2023
Comments Off on Aubrey Plaza to Make Her Stage Debut Alongside Christopher Abbott in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Aubrey Plaza is heading from Sicily to the New York City stage. Come November 13, the White Lotus Emmy nominee will be making her stage debut in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea alongside Girls alum Christopher Abbott, and she’s officially kicking off her theater career with a good one. “It’s an actor’s dream play,” Plaza tells Vanity Fair matter-of-factly.
Written by John Patrick Shanley, who won the best-screenplay Oscar for Moonstruck and a Pulitzer Prize and best-play Tony for Doubt: A Parable, the one-act play follows Danny and Roberta, two broken people who meet by chance at a bar in the Bronx. Abbott, who has been a regular player in the off-Broadway theater circuit for quite some time, has long considered Danny and the Deep Blue Sea to be one of his favorite plays, and was a champion in bringing it back to life. “Chris sent me the play last year, and as soon as I read it, I knew we had to do it,” Plaza says. “I couldn’t pass up Shanley’s dialogue! It is so fun and juicy, and the characters are tragic and beautiful.”
Between Jeff Ward’s stage directorial debut and working with Plaza, Abbott feels like he hit the theater jackpot. “Everyone on this team is a dream,” he says. “To get to work with Aubrey and Jeff on this every day feels like we tricked the system somehow.” Danny and the Deep Blue Sea first premiered in 1983, with John Turturro and June Stein originating the roles Abbott and Plaza will be taking on. “I feel incredibly lucky to be working with actors who are as extraordinary as Chris and Aubrey, and the fact that we are also great friends has only made the process that much more rewarding,” says Ward. “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is such a timeless and deeply resonant play.”
This fall’s adaptation, which begins previews on October 30 and opens November 13, will take place at the jewel box Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan’s West Village. It will have a limited 10-week run. “The process will be the joy, and doing a show that people will be moved by will be the hope,” says Abbott. “I can’t wait to start.”
Source: Vanity Fair
June 25, 2023
Comments Off on ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, is a top young actress and producer who is enjoying the biggest year of her career — indeed, in late 2022, she starred in and produced John Patton Ford’s acclaimed indie film Emily the Criminal and gave a standout supporting turn on the second season of Mike White’s popular HBO drama series The White Lotus; and in early 2023, she hosted Saturday Night Live, garnering widespread praise.
Since bursting onto the scene about 15 years ago in comedies on screens big and small — most notably on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, on which she played the key supporting part of April Ludgate, an apathetic intern, for seven seasons spanning 2009 through 2015 — Plaza has, in the words of the New York Times, “continually reinvented herself,” and, per the Los Angeles Times, “emerged as a performer of surprising depth and range, and a creative force to be reckoned with behind the camera too.” This year, Amy Poehler described her as “one of the most interesting actors working today,” and TIME magazine selected as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Over the course of this episode, the 38-year-old reflects on how she was changed by a freak stroke that she suffered at the age of 21; the insane first week that she ever spent in Los Angeles, during which she landed her parts in Funny People, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Parks and Rec; the sense of resentment that she felt, for a time, about being regarded by some as a good fit only for “deadpan” characters like April; why, having twice hosted the Spirit Awards, she would like to host the Oscars; two recently completed but not yet released projects, Disney+ WandaVision spinoff Agatha: Coven of Chaos and Francis Ford Coppola’s self-financed final film Megalopolis; plus more.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
June 14, 2023
Comments Off on How to Throw a Party Like Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza doesn’t care if you keep your shoes on inside, nor is there any kind of required dress code for entry. The only real rule you have to follow when attending a party at the actor’s Spanish-style home in Los Feliz, California, is to never show up on time. And god forbid you’re early. “When I hear the doorbell ring exactly on the dot it’s like… Oh my god,” she says, a look of horror flashing across her face. “What are you doing here?”
Dan Stevens, her co-star in the FX series Legion, is always prompt, Plaza says, with an eye roll. It’s a quality that the host has begrudgingly come to deal with for the many game nights that turn into late nights that she and her husband, the director Jeff Baena, throw throughout the week. Often spontaneous, these get-togethers are typically announced with a meme-y graphic invite designed by Baena, and end up wildly varying in guest count—from intimately-sized Balderdash sessions to dance parties soundtracked by yacht rock and Swedish rap music. (The Hollywood couple typically keeps a “Bowie household,” admits Plaza).
No matter the playlist, however, the one thing that makes all their romps successful is their bar. “We usually hold our parties on the later side,” says Plaza, “People know to eat before they come, because we don’t go crazy with the food—we’re all about the cocktails.” The actor calls her drink of choice a MargaRight. It’s the classic version of the sour cocktail—composed of tequila, fresh lime juice, and Cointreau, whom she recently partnered with—which is then shaken and chilled before being served. When Plaza plays bartender at these functions (which she often does) she makes her margs per serving rather than batch punches. “The last one I made got too witchy for people,” she says of a Halloween affair that took a sideways turn.
Another gathering that got away from The White Lotus star was one she held a few years ago for the Swedish film Border. “I loved the movie so much, even though I had nothing to do with it,” recalls Plaza, who asked the indie production’s distribution company, Neon, if she could host a screening in Los Angeles to support it. Nearly a hundred of the star’s close friends and family turned up to the private theater that she rented out to watch the anticipated film. The only problem? The actual copy of the movie was nowhere to be found. “It turned out to be a disaster,” says Plaza, still reeling from the chaos. Her solution was to distract the crowd with plenty of drinks and an impromptu performance by Fred Armisen and Nick Kroll, who happened to be attending.
Hopefully, Plaza will have better luck when she celebrates Swedish cinema again later this month. Every year, she and her husband host a double-Cancer rager at their home (their birthdays are two days apart)—but this June, they’re attending the Bergman Week film festival on the Baltic island of Fårö. As far as her next hosting endeavor, though, the actress already has a plan in motion. “We got married a couple of years ago during the pandemic, but we never had a proper celebration,” says Plaza, whose middle sister, Natalie, just also tied the knot. “We’ve been scheming to throw a mega party that celebrates both of our weddings.”
This event, when it finally happens, will take place in the sisters’ native Delaware—but will look nothing like the parties they celebrated growing up. “Our dream is to have it on a creepy, old estate like DuPont [now known as the NYIT de Seversky Mansion] with Civil War reenactors and oddities in every room,” says Plaza. “It would be almost like Great Gatsby meets Clue, and there would be drag queens. We love drag queens. There would be drag queens, and MargaRights.” Cheers to that.
June 13, 2023
Comments Off on Can Aubrey Plaza play a ‘normie’? Can anyone, really? she wonders
Aubrey Plaza hosted the very funny Jan. 21 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” wielding the dry wit that’s long been her trademark on talk shows and social media. But one of the evening’s highlights was during the “Weekend Update” segment where she effortlessly reprised her role as April Ludgate, the sarcastic young intern from “Parks and Recreation,” the sitcom that was her breakthrough.
This wasn’t her first time playing April since “Parks” left the air in early 2015 — she was part of the show’s 2020 COVID reunion benefit — but it was striking to see her back as the iconic character, Amy Poehler’s cheery Leslie Knope by her side. The moment felt like a time warp to a bygone era, especially for Plaza.
“I was terrified to play April Ludgate again,” she admits over Zoom from New York. “I had a moment where I was like, ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ I really wish I had been in therapy at the time.” To reconnect with April’s mind-set, she watched YouTube compilations of the character’s highlight moments, “but I was like, ‘I hope I can pull this off,’ which is just so ridiculous. But it felt very satisfying to put on that wig and pull that hoodie up. What made it so easy is being next to Leslie Knope — I mean, if I had to go out there alone, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to. [The show] did feel forever ago.”
It seems even longer when you consider how far Plaza has come since — which brings us to her performance in the second season of “The White Lotus.” She plays Harper, a sharp, brittle New York attorney dragged along on a luxury Italian vacation with her husband, Ethan (Will Sharpe), who encourages her to be nice to his college chum Cameron (Theo James) and his wife, Daphne (Meghann Fahy), both of whom strike her as rich dolts. Mired in a flailing marriage, Harper feels abandoned and trapped. It was a role Plaza’s good friend, show creator Mike White, wrote specifically for her.
“He kind of made a joke, but he said something along the lines of ‘I think it would be really funny if you played a normie,’” recalls Plaza, laughing. “There’s lots to dissect there, but I think what he meant was ‘I’m not going to cast you as a character that has some kind of extreme behaviors.’ I thought, ‘OK, well, nobody’s really a normie, are they?’”
Still, it’s easy to understand White’s point. Whether on “Parks and Rec” or in cult indies such as “Ingrid Goes West,” Plaza has cornered the market on edgy misfits who excel at making others uncomfortable. But in “The White Lotus,” despite Harper’s cutting commentary, we bear witness to a melancholy, sensitive soul ill at ease around the resort’s obscene wealth and blinkered entitlement. Plaza likes to immerse herself in her characters’ headspace.
“I’ve been called a Method actor — I don’t know how to define what I am,” she says. “But I don’t take things lightly. Whatever the scene of the day is really dictates how my day goes — it dictates my mood; it dictates how I interact with people. I have to say to people, ‘Look, don’t take it personally.’” Her process wasn’t always easy for Sharpe, a director who’s not as experienced as an actor, when they’d shoot tense scenes. As Plaza puts it, “There was a learning curve for Will, where he would go, ‘Are you mad at me? Are you OK?’ And I go, ‘No, I’m not OK.’”
But Plaza wasn’t merely trying on Harper’s loneliness — it’s a sensation she knows all too well. “I felt lonely,” she says softly about her time on set. “But I think I feel lonely a lot. I mean, I had an incredible time — I loved this cast, I wasn’t alone — but, yeah, I think I did [feel lonely]. I understand that about myself. I think it’s also a feeling of being misunderstood. I think there’s an element of that with Harper — it’s sad and exhausting when you feel like you’re constantly misunderstood.”
No doubt the actress has also been misunderstood, having to escape a pigeonhole that her beloved April put her in. Thankfully, she’s doggedly expanded Hollywood’s assumptions about what she can do, most recently with the gripping low-budget thriller “Emily the Criminal” and now with “The White Lotus,” two performances where she displays startling vulnerability and emotional nuance. Receiving Independent Spirit Award nominations for “Emily,” which she also produced, and winning a SAG ensemble prize for “Lotus,” she’s garnering more accolades than ever before. In fact, later on this day, she’ll be feted as part of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
“This year has been so interesting,” she says, taking it all in. “I’m not really doing anything different, but I have glimpses of some kind of shift in perception. It feels really good to feel that people are watching things that I’m doing. ‘Emily the Criminal’ and ‘White Lotus,’ I still am in shock just the sheer scope of how many people had eyes on both of those things — that’s rare for me. I feel seen this year in a way that I don’t think I ever have. I feel lighter, in a sense.”
Source: Los Angeles Times
June 10, 2023
Comments Off on Aubrey Plaza names her 10 favourite arthouse movies
Since her role in the highly acclaimed sitcom Parks and Recreation, actor Aubrey Plaza has flourished in the industry, landing increasingly frequent leading roles in indie comedies, arthouse gems, and studio films whilst continuing to appear in award-winning television.
While her distinct dead-pan demeanour and dry sense of humour have secured her as a regular on the comedy circuit, appearing in films by the likes of Judd Apatow and Edgar Wright, Plaza has more than proved her ability to tackle darker and more serious content with the crime thriller Emily the Criminal and the second season of the blackly comic HBO show The White Lotus.
She’ll also be making her MCU debut in the upcoming Wandavision spin-off Agatha: Coven of Chaos, which will premiere on Disney+ later this year, and has recently starred in Guy Ritchie’s international spy comedy/thriller Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, which got a digital release from Amazon Prime. Despite transitioning to big-budget studio-backed content, the actor nevertheless retains a fervent passion for films that take the not-so-mainstream path.
Speaking to the Criterion Collection, the much-lauded American distribution company known for putting out bespoke DVDs/Blu-Rays of iconic films that cinephiles salivate over, Plaza picked her top ten arthouse films that have seen a Criterion release. Ranging from Italian classics to gritty 1970s indie flicks, Plaza’s choices demonstrate a broad taste and passionate dedication to cinema in all its forms.
Plaza starts off with not one but two John Cassavetes films; the legendary 1970s director whose work has inspired the likes of Martin Scorsese and the Safdie brothers. While speaking about Woman Under the Influence and its devastatingly powerful portrayal of a woman on the brink of a mental breakdown, Plaza said: “Gena Rowlands is one of my heroes. She and Cassavetes mean a lot to me, and the two have influenced my career and my understanding of acting in countless ways.”
Cassavetes followed his 1974 drama three years with the slightly spookier, more ephemeral tale of fame and paranoia, Opening Night. “I watched tons of Cassavetes films,” Plaza explains before sharing why Cassavetes’ dark tale of a theatre production resonated with her, “but this one really stood out and spoke to my character’s situation and the psychologically messy space between fiction and reality that you’re often in when you’re making a movie or putting on a show.” Her love for Cassavetes also extends to his work as an actor, as his film Mikey and Nickey, directed by Elaine May, also gets the top-ten treatment.
Sticking to the 1970s – a decade well-known for its output of exceptional films – Plaza turns her attention to the German romantic drama from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. “I only recently watched Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and it immediately became one of my favourites,” said Plaza. The film, which follows an unlikely romance that blossoms between an elderly German lady and a young immigrant, is considered one of Fassbinder’s greatest works. “It’s a delicious movie—the performances, the love story, the sense of tragedy. It’s just so lovely.”
Two quintessential pieces of Italian cinema claim further places on Plaza’s list: the bleak neo-realist classic, Bicycle Thieves, released in 1948, and Federico Fellini’s dreamlike magnum opus, 8½. On the latter, Plaza recounts how her time filming The White Lotus in Italy made her revisit the director and his film about filmmaking: “I thought a lot about Fellini because, at times, we were somewhat close to Cinecittà. 8½ captures the magic and insanity of making movies—and there’s nothing I love more.”
Unable to decide on which Ingmar Bergman picture deserves a place, Plaza has the acclaimed Swedish director’s 1974 film Scenes From a Marriage share a spot with his 1982 film Fanny and Alexander. Despite a run-time of over five hours long, Fanny and Alexander is well worth a watch, according to the actor. “I watch Fanny and Alexander every year. There’s obviously some dark stuff in it, but it’s a great comfort movie to me,” Plaza explains, adding how it gives her a sense of comfort: “Whenever I’m shooting a film, and I have to go live in a far-off location, I put it on while I’m trying to settle in.”
In keeping with Plaza’s love for European cinema, she also has two Spanish-language films in her top ten. Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, which the actor describes as “a dark, twisted union” of obsession and love, and La Ciénaga by Lucrecia Martel. The latter film, from the same director as 2017’s Zama, follows a wealthy family living in rural Argentina. “La Ciénaga is beautiful and fun to watch because the world Martel builds is so realistic; it’s almost like you’re a fly on the wall spending time with this family in a country home in Argentina,” says Plaza before stressing her love for female talent: “I think women directors are the coolest.”
Aubrey Plaza’s favourite arthouse films
A Woman Under The Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
Opening Night (John Cassavetes, 1977)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974)
Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
Scenes From a Marriage/Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1974 and 1982)
La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Pedro Almodóvar, 1989)
Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May, 1976)
Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
Another female director that Plaza loves is Barbara Loden, whose 1970 indie drama Wanda speaks to Plaza on multiple levels. “Barbara Loden is fascinating, and Wanda is the kind of movie I’d love to make one day,” the actor admits, illuminating further why Wanda means so much to her. “It’s also set in a coal-mining town relatively near to where I grew up in Delaware, so the locations feel familiar.”
Source: Far Out
May 27, 2023
Comments Off on Aubrey Plaza Rewatches Parks & Rec, White Lotus, Ingrid Goes West & More For Vanity Fair
Aubrey Plaza sits down to rewatch scenes from her own movies and television series, including ‘Parks and Recreation,’ ‘The White Lotus,’ ‘Ingrid Goes West’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.’
May 22, 2023
Comments Off on Aubrey Plaza Covers “Vanity Fair” June 2023 Issue
Aubrey Plaza is featured on the cover of the June 2023 issue of Vanity Fair magazine!