Comedian Aubrey Plaza on 'Scott Pilgrim', Dropping F-Bombs and Growing Up Awkward

Aubrey Plaza may not have a huge role in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but you sure will remember her. The half-Puerto Rican comedian, who has cornered the market on playing sarcastic outcasts in movies like Funny People and NBC’s comedy Parks & Recreation, steals scene after scene as a chick who shows up solely to curse out the lovelorn Scott. She’s a little more reserved in real life...a little.

The scene in Scott Pilgrim where you drop something like 20 f-bombs will live on in infamy! Was it frustrating to be given free rein to curse that much only to be bleeped afterward?
Ha! I know! But the bleeping and the black box over my mouth were devices from the comic book, so that had to stay. And I guess they were going for that PG-13 rating!

How did you get involved in comedy in the first place?
A lot of comedians that I know grew up with insecurities that they work out by being funny and I definitely did. I was a weird kid growing up and when I found out that I could be funny, that was it for me. People I grew up with would definitely say that I was odd.

You’ve talked about how you sometimes followed your school principal home while hiding in a box and moving it down the street as she walked. How else were you odd?
I was always doing weird stuff in public. I was never embarrassed to make a fool out of myself. When everyone else was going to the school dance and trying to look hot and make boys like them, I was dressing up in costumes and making a joke out of it all. I think that was kinda how I coped with being in school, finding ways to amuse myself. I was awkward.

That seems comes through in your comedic style. You’ve got a sarcastic, calm, monotone delivery but your eyes always seem to be saying, ‘WTF?’
I think it’s funny because people often tell me how calm I am in talk shows or shooting on the show. They ask, ‘Aren’t you nervous?’ And I feel like inside in my head my head is spinning all the time. I’m so scared but I’m really good at hiding it. But my eyes do give away too much.

Now that you’re in both TV or movies, which do you like best? Where do you see yourself going career-wise?
I got into all of this for my love of movies and I hope to continue being in movies. My real dream is to write a film and create my own material for a TV show and stand up. I love it all. I want to be in a position one day to be in creative control more than acting. Tina Fey is a hero of mine.

You were recently on Jimmy Fallon talking about a hilarious Spanish accent that you and Parks and Recreation co-star Amy Poehler do when you’re bored on set. How did that come about?
I don’t know! I think because of Amy used to do an impression of Rosie Perez on Saturday Night Live, and it’s really funny. And she started doing that and I was copying her. She started calling me ‘Platha’ with a Spanish lisp. When we’re shooting, we get delirious and we start getting crazy and that just became our weird way of talking.

Did you draw on your grandmothers or aunts from PR to perfect your accent?
Definitely. After Fallon, I went home and my step-grandmother Bridget was like, 'I know you’re making fun of me!' They tell me how bad I am, but they love it.

What’s going to happen with April on the new fall season of Parks and Recreation?
You find out what’s going to happen between her and Andy. And Also, Rob Lowe’s character is now a series regular on the show. so there’s an opportunity for April to work for him, instead of Ron Swanson. So there’s gonna be a little bit of a conflict there. And she’s going to try to figure out what she’s going to do with her life. I think that the stories that April’s involved in are really compelling. The April/Andy love story has definitely become a fan favorite, so that’s great for me. It gives me a chance to have some emotional arc, I’m not just delivering one-liners.

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About this author

Damarys Ocaña Perez,

Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms. Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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