Aubrey Plaza featured in Bust MagazineBust Feb/Mar 2010
by Jenni Millerphotographed by Ramona Rosales
Horsing around with Parks and Recreation's taciturn intern
It wasn't long ago that 25-year-old Aubrey Plaza was spending her days at NYU film school and her nights doing improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade. One week in the summer of 2008, however, changed all that. The comedian was in L.A. on a callback for the Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler movie Funny People but ended up also meeting about the upcoming Michael Cera comedy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and NBC's Parks and Recreation. She didn't have any plans to relocate to the City of Angels at the time, but after nabbing roles in all these projects in one fell swoop, she had no choice. "Yeah, the past year has been the biggest of my life. It changed everything," she tells me in a voice a few shades sunnier than the one she uses for April Ludgate, the ultra-blase intern she plays on Parks and Rec. It's no surprise, though, that Plaza's career took off like a rocket. She knows exactly what she wants and has been tireless in her quest to get it From her decision to move to New York from Wilmington, DE, to study film writing and directing, to regularly hitting the improv stage, to relentlessly faxing her resume to <i>Saturday Night Live</i> for an internship, Plaza has been ready for years. "I'm not a very patient person," she says, laughing, "so when I graduated high school, I was like, 'All right, I'm ready, let's go!'"
It's not hard to see Plaza as representative of a new generation of ass-kickin' female comedians in the tradition of ladies like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. "Being around [Poehler] is the best," she says of her cast-mate and mentor. "Listening to her stories about SNL and all she's had to fight for is really special for me. I try to remember it, and I keep the excitement that I felt when I came to work the first day, because if I lose that, that's when things start to go stale."
Besides Poehler, Plaza has another role model: Adam Sandler. "The fact that he went from SNL to writing and making his own movies like Billy Madison, that really influenced me," she says. "I'd love to do something like that." In fact, she's already in the process of writing a comedy herself, rather than "just auditioning to be, like, the love interest in the next romantic comedy."
In the upcoming Scott Pilgrim, her character, Julie Powers, is another funny lady with a bite. Although she doesn't get any action sequences -- Pilgrim, played by Cera, has to fight seven evil ex-boyfriends to win the heart of Ramona V. Flowers, the girl he loves -- she does get some choice bitchy bits. "Michael is the funniest person I think I've ever met," she says, "so getting to scream and yell at him all day was a dream come true."