Nick Offerman made a career appearing in small roles in sitcom to sitcom for about a decade before gaining steam in the late 2000s, which eventually led to his starring role on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. He is now a unique comedic element of thee show that has led to roles in both comedic and dramatic films. In a conversation with The New York Times, Offerman speaks about his late-blooming career
Offerman has become known for his deadpan delivery on Parks and Recreation. He explains that he developed this comedic approach because he didn’t think he could equal the crazy energy of other comedians. He says, “Something about stentorian authority figures has always made me laugh. I also noticed that lots of the performers I was working with had a big, obnoxious energy that I quickly realized I could never match — and that when they finally finished being loud, with one well-placed remark I could also achieve some sort of comic victory.”
When asked if he had any advice for struggling actors who, like him, might not get their big break for years, he responds, “Make the rest of your life happy. For me, when I started dating Megan [Mullally, his wife], my auditions became so much better, because I knew that when I came home from the audition I got to kiss her. I didn’t give a damn about the audition nearly as much, and that gave me a sense of confidence.”
In fact, even though his Parks and Recreation role was written specifically for him it took several months for NBC to approve him in the role. He reveals that when he finally got the role he felt vindicated. He confesses, “There are finer points to [the story]. But when I finally got the call from my boss, [executive producer] Mike Schur, I sobbed for 30 minutes. It was from years and years and years of repressed feeling from never getting the big shot at something.”
Hopefully he’s since come to terms with it — with all the roles Offerman has been getting recently I’d be worried he’d be dehydrated from all the crying!