Natalie Morales on Shia LaBeouf: "That man can have chemistry with a toaster"

Can’t wait until January to see Natalie Morales again when she returns to Parks and Recreation for a few more episodes? Then catch her in the weekend’s number one movie, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Morales plays Carol, the high-powered, catty antagonist to Jake, Shia LaBeouf’s investment banker. She dished to on Shia, director Oliver Stone and ambitious women.

How did you prep for the role? Did you spend time on Wall Street?
I really wish I could have. I didn't have much time, as I was working on [the USA TV show] White Collar then, but I did watch the original movie several times and I did research on what the hell I was talking about.

What were the most challenging and rewarding things about making the movie?
I got to riff with Shia and that was a lot of fun. That man can have chemistry with a toaster. He's fantastic. Such a generous and attentive actor. The most challenging thing was, of course, that I've never been a banker. I've never even come close to flirting with the idea of knowing how to invest. It's a completely different world than what I'm used to. So how do I make myself believable in this role, when I know nothing of it? But the most rewarding was putting my own ideas into the scenes and having Oliver Stone actually go for them. So incredibly cool.

Do you think that successful women get a bad rap as 'b*tches' in real life business situations?
I think sometimes some women think that they have to be bitches in order to get respect. That doesn't get you respect. That gets you fear. Which can work as a business mode— some men have also gotten to the top by being major a**holes. In my experience, business savvy is business savvy. If you're good at what you do, no one can take that away from you as long as you know it and you use it. You don't need to be mean to people to get where you want to be.

Do you think women really can have it all?
Women do have it all. Some of us just don't know it.

What are your own ambitions?
My big goal is to create more. I would love to direct someday and I just finished writing my first screenplay. So right now I'm going to focus on getting that out in to the world.  Who knows what's next, really? All I can say is I'm looking forward to whatever it is.