Aubrey Plaza - Hot Video: Prom Date with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aubrey Plaza - CollegeHumor Interview

After getting her start in hit web series like The Jeannie Tate Show and ESPN's Mayne Street (she's also appeared in a CollegeHumor video or two), Aubrey Plaza currently appears in NBC's Parks and Recreation. She recently finished shooting Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead). She made her feature debut this summer opposite Seth Rogen in Funny People, which comes out on DVD this week. She also wouldn't mind if you followed her on Twitter.

In Funny People, you play a stand-up. You hadn't done stand-up before the movie, correct?

The first time I did it was in Queens. I did do it just for the film - I had met with Judd and I knew the only obstacle was that I wasn't a real stand-up. Then, when I was cast, I came out to L.A. and had to immediately start doing shows with the rest of the cast. I kind of got thrown into it, but I really liked it so I kept doing it. I'm still doing it now.

You came up through the UCB Theatre - how do you feel about the relationship between stand-up and improv?

Improv is obviously collaborative because you have support and people around you. For me, stand-up is terrifying and really, really hard and scary because it's all on you and your delivery and what you're writing and how you're saying it and everything so it's kind of unapologetic.

Stand-ups will spend hours writing and rehearsing a joke to make it sound organic, improv is always that way.

Totally. In terms of what I like, I think I like improvising more. I don't like planned things, but I like writing too. It's a good exercise for your comedy brain to write stand-up jokes and see how they work.

Are you writing anything besides stand-up right now?

I've been trying to work on some movie ideas and stuff like that. It's hard to balance it [with Parks and Recreation], but I'm trying to be one of those people who writes and performs and does everything all of the time.

I went to Donald Glover's Comedy Central Presents stand-up special the other week. He definitely seems like one of those comedians who do everything.

He's a good friend of mine, and you're right, he's that guy. He goes to shoot a scene and instead of messing around in his downtime he's writing a million jokes or writing and shooting videos. That's kind of like the ideal comedian right there.

He's definitely doing about as well as someone can do.

He's amazing, and so disciplined. He reminds me of Seth Rogen actually. Seth is like that, he's really disciplined, always writing and always working on something.

You're not doing badly, either. Web comedy can be a bit of a wasteland, but your track record (Jeannie Tate, Mayne Street) is pretty exceptional. Anything we're missing?

I don't think so. I don't have any horrible web series locked away in my basement. Honestly, I'm lucky to be in all of those. Jeannie Tate changed my whole career. It got me an agent, and without that, I don't think I'd even be talking to you.

Liz is awesome. She did a pretty great Sarah Palin for us a while back.

The CollegeHumor videos I've done, too, were so helpful in getting agents and getting people to see me. Any time Sam Reich has a video or wants me to do anything, I'm indebted to him.

So I should cross "dirt on Sam Reich" off my list of questions?

[Laughs] Um, yes.

I just followed your Twitter about an hour ago. Some comedians, like Steve Agee, have almost a million followers. How does that happen?

I don't know. Aziz [Ansari] has a million Twitter followers too. I'm not really great at Twittering, I do it really inconsistently or when I have a link I want people to see. I'm not much of the, "I'm eating a sandwich right now"-type Twitter-er. I don't know how to make myself have more followers. If you find out, let me know.

After doing Internet comedy, how does it feel to shoot a movie and then not see the finished results for almost a year?

It's pretty strange. By the time Funny People came out I had forgotten what I had done, and I had no idea what to expect. It's kind of exciting in that way, though. You work on it and you have to let it go, and you hope that you're going to be happy with the outcome. Luckily, I was, I thought it was really great.

The lead of Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler, started the UCB Theatre. Do you improvise on set at all?

Our scripts are so good that we don't need to improvise too much, the jokes are there and everything kills at table reads. Usually our directors let us have fun after we have what's in the script and we get to mess around a bit. I think that's important, because you can discover different ways of doing things. It's also fun to try and come up with stuff that will make the other person laugh. It keeps you on your toes, keeps everyone's spirits high and keeps it fun.

Finally I wanted to ask about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, directed by Edgar Wright. Edgar, like Judd, is famous for having a pretty distinctive sensibility.

It was amazing. Edgar is so different from Judd, he's really technical and specific in a great way. Edgar's very funny too, he just has a very different style from Judd.

Much more precise.

Totally. And Bill Pope, the DP, did The Matrix and Team America, so that team just knew what they wanted and how it was going to work. Fitting your choices and your comedy style into that, that was something I had to learn how to do, but once it worked, it really worked. I think that movie's going to be the best movie of next summer.



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