You probably know Aubrey Plaza from her role as Parks and Recreation‘s sarcastic intern, April Ludgate, a role written specifically for her by creator Mike Schur after a casting director called him 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.”
Since Parks and Rec ended, Aubrey’s been killing it with roles in movies like The To-Do List and shows like FX’s Legion. Now she’s starring as Ingrid in Ingrid Goes West, a darkly comic thriller that sees her character move to LA with the goal of meeting, befriending, and maybe even becoming her new Instagram obsession: Taylor Sloane (played by Elizabeth Olsen).
1. Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?
Aubrey Plaza: Yeah, a bunch of people at one point thought I was Alison Brie on Community. In airports a lot, they’d come up to me and be like, “I love your work on Community!” And I’d go, “Thank you very much.”
2. Have you ever intentionally pretended to be another celebrity?
AP: No, but there was some singer that looked like me that I thought maybe for a second I could pretend to be. But I can’t remember who it was, so it doesn’t matter.
3. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
AP: I think when I was in fourth or fifth grade, on the playground, I used to tell people that my dad owned the Plaza Hotel, because I thought they’d think I was cool. No one believed me and it was a terrible lie, but a big one for a young child.
4. Puppies or kittens?
AP: I’ve never had a puppy, I’ve only had kittens. So I’m going to say kittens. They’re really cute.
5. What animal do you think you’re most like?
AP: I’m gonna say I’m like a mixture between a deer and a monkey, and I’m not gonna explain why.
6. What’s the weirdest thing you own?
AP: Oh, this is really tough, I own a lot of weird things. I own…a rubber leg. A rubber man’s leg.
7. What’s the last thing you cried at?
AP: Okja – the first 10 minutes, and then I turned it off. I cried within the first 10 minutes, so I was like, I can’t watch this movie.
8. What’s your favourite pizza topping?
AP: Hot spicy peppers.
9. What’s your drink of choice?
AP: Alcohol. Tequila?
10. What’s your favourite drunk food?
AP: In-N-Out burger.
11. What’s your favourite swear word?
AP: Asshole. Asshole. I love calling people assholes. Like… Asshole. Ass. Hole. What a dumb word.
12. What advice would you give to your teenage self?
AP: I would say stop getting your hair cut like a middle-aged real estate agent woman. It doesn’t look good. The boys don’t like it.
13. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
AP: Go big or go home! Right out of the womb, my mom said that to me. As a toddler. She said, “If you’re gonna fuck up, just make sure it’s a big fuckup.”
14. What’s the craziest fan encounter you’ve ever had?
AP: I had someone request… Basically, they bought my @evilhag domain, and they agreed to give it back to me if I would dress up like a cat and go to a sushi dinner with them. For a millisecond I thought about it, and then I thought I’d probably end up being chopped up into a million pieces, so I’m not gonna do that.
You got it back though.
AP: That’s right. I can’t reveal how. It’s a legal situation. I’m in many lawsuits. Every day.
15. Have you ever freaked out about meeting a celebrity?
AP: Yeah. Nick Offerman brought me to see his wife in a musical at Carnegie Hall one time, and Patrick Wilson was in it, and I could barely talk because I was so excited to meet him. I made a fool out of myself and he thought I was a loser.
16. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
AP: Invisibility! Whenever I want. Blink my eyes and I’m gone.
17. Do you have a secret talent?
AP: I can fold my tongue in half outside of my mouth. Do you wanna see it? It’s actually really hard to do. I have special nerves in my tongue that allow me to do that. That’s some Puerto Rican genes right there.
18. What’s the most challenging role you’ve ever played?
AP: Probably Ingrid, in Ingrid Goes West. That was the most screentime I’ve ever had, so the most work I’ve ever done on one character.
19. What’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing a role?
AP: I mean, playing April Ludgate was really fun every day, because I just got to roll my eyes and hate people and also be surrounded by really funny people.
20. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
AP: Honking. I don’t like it. I don’t like when people honk. I also don’t like when people do that joke where you’re like, “Hey, can you pass me that napkin?” And they’re like, “No.” What kind of joke is that? I don’t like that kind of negative, mean-spirited joke. I could go on.
21. What’s your most-used emoji?
AP: The dagger emoji. I tend to throw three daggers in a row when someone’s late or whatever.
22. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
AP: I have two. “Ain’t Going Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)” by Garth Brooks – it’s a crowd-pleaser – and “Only Time” by Enya. That’s for really, really late at night, when things are real sloppy.
23. What was the last song you listened to?
AP: Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”. But not by choice. Someone held me down and forced it on me.
24. What was the last book you read?
AP: The last book I finished – because I’ve had a lot of half-reads – was Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley.
25. What was the last movie you saw?
AP: Logan. By myself. I fell asleep. But it seems really good – I’m gonna try it again when I’m not so tired.
26. What TV show did you binge-watch most recently?
AP: I’m not much of a binger, but I’ve been bingeing Twin Peaks. There’s just so much of it, I need to catch up, but I’m still not through it.
27. What would you want to be if you weren’t an actor?
AP: Probably, like, a really aggressive horseback-riding instructor.
28. What’s your signature dance move?
AP: The upside-down twerk. You know, on the wall.
29. Do you have a favourite joke?
AP: Yes. [is silent for a long time and then laughs]
30. What’s one ambition you have yet to accomplish?
AP: Oh, so many. Grammy. Tony. Emmy. ESPY? Is that an award? Any award, pretty much. No, I don’t care about awards. Just cooking a really great dinner, I guess. I never feel good about what I cook. But also, Grammy.
31. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
AP: That I’m really sensitive on the inside! I don’t know, I don’t want anyone to know anything about me. I love small, confined spaces. I love being buckled in. That came out weird. I love seatbelts!