Aubrey Plaza Got Role in Parks and Rec by Making Showrunner Uncomfortable
The actress was weird at the audition, just as she is weird in real life.
For as long as Aubrey Plaza has been on Parks and Recreation, fans of the show have been convinced that she is exactly like her character April Ludgate – a sarcastic intern who never takes the world seriously.
While not yet a household name, Aubrey received an invitation to audition for a new series from the producer and writer of the legendary The Office, Michael Schur. Aubrey seemed unusual to him, to say the least, even though Schur is a good joker himself.
According to the producer, being alone with it made him feel out of place, and oddly enough, he liked it. The scriptwriter created a character for Plaza that gradually evolved into the April Ludgate that we know and love today:
“We wrote the part for Aubrey. Allison Jones, who is one of the people who cast the show, called me and said, ‘I just met the weirdest girl I’ve ever met in my life. You have to meet her and put her on your show.’”
As Parks and Recreation's popularity grew, Plaza gained a reputation as the weirdest girl in Hollywood. She could chastise Michael Cera on the red carpet of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or try to take the award from Will Farrell on stage at the MTV Movie Awards.
Talk show hosts could never predict what would pop into her head – start making up facts about her childhood or talk about embarrassing situations. For Hollywood, accustomed to polite smiles, Plaza's serious face, sarcasm and absurd jokes seem incredibly provocative.
But the Parks and Recreation character is not the only one who resembles Aubrey herself. As with Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus showrunner Mike White, who knows Aubrey well, wrote the character based on her.
Harper, played by Aubrey, arrives in sunny Sicily with her husband Ethan and is not in the best of moods right from the start – she is upset by a weak husband, annoyed by his insolent business partner, and even beautiful Italy is not charming her.
Plaza even founded her own production company and became one of the leading faces of the independent cinema in order to have the freedom to create and play such characters – flawed, a little strange, a little uncomfortable or even aggressive, but real.
Source: AV Club