Since Parks and Recreation ended, that show’s supporting cast has been in demand like few I’ve ever seen, and they’ve made some really interesting and diverse choices. Chris Pratt is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Aziz Ansari co-created and starred in a very personal Netflix comedy series, Adam Scott and Nick Offerman are seemingly everywhere (whether in the flesh or as voice actors), Rashida Jones is producing a lot while also starring in Angie Tribeca, etc.
Aubrey Plaza, meanwhile, has done some movies (Dirty Grandpa, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), and tonight made her debut on FX’s Legion as Lenny, best friend to the show’s hero, in an episode that brought Lenny to a surprising place by the end. Spoilers for what happened (I reviewed the premiere here), followed by a conversation I had with Plaza last month at press tour, coming up just as soon as I fart too loud…
So, Lenny is dead, having been accidentally teleported inside a wall due to David’s powers going haywire after a body swap (because of course). But where this might seem like a case of a show hiring an actor who’s seemingly too high-profile for the part, just to get some shock value out of killing off that character, Plaza remains a series regular on Legion, and Lenny continues appearing in the other episodes I’ve seen, in a manner I’ll leave you to find out. But, like most things about the show, and about what Plaza has done of late in her career, it’s fun.
This will be something that will run after the premiere, so you don’t have to worry about giving anything away.
I don’t know anything, anyway.
But you’re in it.
You’re in it for a little bit.
No, I’m in it. Just you wait.
Okay. Let’s just start with why you wanted to do this in the first place.
Well, I was, you know, hesitant to do any show, because I just came off of one of the greatest shows of all time, in my opinion. I would say it was a combination of things. I think Noah Hawley was a big part of that. I really liked the work that I’ve seen him do, and I like his writing. I think he’s smart. The character was originally written for a man, so when I read the script initially, I wasn’t thinking about playing that part. I was thinking about playing other parts. When he approached me to play that part and said he was going to switch it to a female, I thought, “Well, that’s kind of a cool move.” The fact that his mind is able to be open to something like that was very appealing to me. I thought, “Well, if he’s willing to do that, then he’s going to be willing to do a lot of things. I want to work with someone like that.”
Did you talk to Nick [Offerman], who was in Fargo season 2] at all about what Noah was like as a boss?
Yeah. I did. I talked to as many people as I could that had worked with him, to kind of make sure that he wasn’t full of shit. The answer I came back with was, “He’s the real deal.” I was like, “Sign me up.”
You’ve done a couple comic book things now, but are you a comic book person, or these are just jobs you’ve taken?
What is a comic book person?
Are you a reader of comic books? Had you ever even heard of the character before this?