Happy 30th Birthday, Aubrey Plaza!
You may know the Parks and Recreation star for her deadpan humor, biting cynicism, and too-cool-for-school persona. But, there's much more to this Latina comedian than meets the eye.
10 things you never knew about birthday girl Aubrey Plaza:
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She's Puerto Rican:
Yep, Aubrey Plaza's father is Puerto Rican. She described herself as the "only diverse kid" from her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "I was winning the diversity awards, and people were always calling bullshit on me," she told us in the March issue. "I won the Hispanic teenager of the year, and I felt terrible. I always felt like I didn't deserve to win, because I was really half [Latino.]"
She's named after a song by the band "Bread":
A cool girl deserves a cool name. Aubrey Plaza's parents named her after a song by the band Bread. "It was so mysterious and haunting," her mom told Delaware Today. "What was so special about this girl, one could only imagine and never really know. It was very fitting for Aubrey. It's so hard to put into words what makes her so special, but I always knew she would be."
She went to all-girls, Catholic school:
Aubrey Plaza may have developed her cynical sense of humor while attending Ursuline Academy in her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. When asked about her personal style by Glamour, she joked, "I went to Catholic school, so a plaid skirt, white button-down, and leather shoes were all I knew. That's still how I dress."
She's a prankster:
In high school, Plaza made it a personal mission to annoy her principal. One day, she convinced the entire class to show up wearing fake mustaches. When the principal asked her to take it off, she said there was no rule against mustaches in the handbook. Long story short, she received a detention for "failure to remove mustache when asked."
She has a famous ex-boyfriend:
While she was in high school, a very talented young man asked Aubrey out by serenading to her in front of a crowd of people. Turns out, the kid had a flair for entertaining -- he even went on to win a Tony Award. Yep, the boy-in-question was Johnny Gallagher Jr., who originated the role of Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening.
She survived a stroke while in college:
In July 2005, a 21-year-old Plaza suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot in the left temporal lobe of her brain. Although she completely recovered, she says the experience put Hollywood's indignities and absurdities into perspective. "It was one of the scariest things that's happened, but it never felt as if it was keeping me from doing anything," she told The Guardian. "If anything, it made me more aggressive about getting things I want."
She was an NBC Page:
Aubrey Plaza had the opportunity to serve as an NBC Page, a prestigious and highly selective job opportunity for recent college graduates. Of the roughly 6,000 people who apply to work at Rockefeller Center, just 60 or 70 applicants are accepted.
Plaza insists that she was a "dark witch" Page who made up facts while giving tours to visitors. She even told Jay Leno about a hilarious elevator experience with Katie Couric.
She's one-half of the most adorable pair of best friends:
Yes, it's true: Aubrey Plaza is best friends with fellow funny-girl Anna Kendrick. The adorable besties love taking their relationship to social media and sharing some of their hilarious BFF moments.
She turned down Ryan Gosling... twice:
Yeah, we could believe it either. Plaza told Rolling Stone that heartthrob Ryan Gosling approached her at a Jamba Juice, and she shut him down because she didn't recognize him. Later, he asked her to a magic show, and she told him she couldn't go because she had a charity event for Amy Poehler the same night. "It was like, 'Bros before hos' or 'Hos before bros' however that phrase goes," she told Vulture.
She stole something from the White House:
Plaza has a pretty unique story about her encounter with Vice President Joe Biden. When she visited the White House to meet the VP, she noticed a piece of paper on his desk. The document was the VP's "Cheat Sheet" to Aubrey Plaza, and it contained a list of quick facts about her. Plaza swiped the note from his desk, and planned to have it framed. Unfortunately, she ended up losing the note.