Aubrey Plaza’s rise in the comedy sphere has been marked by a distinct flavor, all her own. Demonstrating her incredible dead pan humor as “Julie Powers” in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, “April Ludgate” in “Parks and Recreation,” and even as a snarky bookstore customer in the Fred Armisen/Carrie Brownstein half-hour single cam comedy “Portlandia,” Plaza has indeed established herself as a (hilarious) member of the next comedy generation. Plaza also stars in the new Colin Trevorrow film, Safety Not Guaranteed.
PopcornBiz recently talked with Plaza about her unique characterization(s), recent success, and upcoming steps in her career.
Even though Plaza recognizes the legacy she has built for herself in comedy, her characterization wasn’t necessarily something she tried to typecast herself within. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, people think that I’m this thing. I have to keep this going.’ It was just kind of that those were the parts that I was offered and that I took.” However, some elements of comedy haven’t always come easy to Plaza. “I did have moments when I was doing stand-up a couple of years ago for ‘Funny People,’ when I did kind of have to very quickly create a persona … that’s half the challenge of being a stand-up [comedian], having good material, but also creating a persona onstage that people respond to.” Plaza goes on to explain that stand-up was new to her, at the time. “I’d never done stand-up before. I’m sure that because I hadn’t done it before and I was so scared and awkward about it, like, that somehow was infused [into] my delivery or something.”
Plaza’s sarcastic characters also reach further than the television screen. Because her characters are so distinctly “Audrey Plaza,” many people believe they represent her true persona. “I think it’s funny because sometimes I feel like people are intimidated by me for that reason, and they think that I’m going to be mean or something.”
However, Plaza enjoys the seemingly “negative” attention. “[I]t’s kind of fun for me. I don’t have a problem with it. I kind of embrace it. It’s more interesting than if I was just kind of like everyone else[,] or something.”
Plaza has certainly established herself in film and television with a unique brand but, she says that she would like to continue branching out. “I’ll do anything! I want to do it all. I just want to play really good characters.” Plaza’s interest in playing entirely different kinds of characters goes beyond her normal genre. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a horror movie or an action movie. I could be a fish in a Pixar movie. I don’t care. I just want to do interesting things.”