Two weeks have passed since the end of Parks and Recreation, and it still hasn’t really sunk in that the show is actually over. Still feeling mournful following the airing of the show’s bittersweet finale, I caught up with longtime UPROXX pal Jim O’Heir to see how’s he doing and what he has planned for life after Parks. (Also, if you haven’t yet read our oral history on the show’s development, you really should.) O’Heir told us about the new film he will (hopefully) star in, the independent dark comedy Middle Man. The film is directed by his longtime friend, Ned Crowley, and they’re currently raising money to finance it via Kickstarter, with just a couple days left in the campaign.
“I love a good horror movie…I love a thriller. I love all those Saw movies. And I love comedy,” O’Heir said. “So a dark comedy with blood and humor is right up my alley. Nothing like Parks and Recreation…what’s really great about it for me, as an actor, is it’s the anti-Jerry. I love Jerry. Jerry is the sweetest, nicest man in the world and if we were still shooting I’d still be there. But we’re actors and it’s fun to do different things.”
The teaser for the film shows O’Heir in the middle of the desert, dragging a dead body out of the trunk of a 1953 Oldsmobile before digging a coffin-shaped hole in the ground. The dead man doesn’t quite fit, leading to some disturbing ways for O’Heir’s character to resolve the predicament.
“It was 110 degrees and I’m digging myself out of a hole,” O’Heir said about the day they filmed. “If you put a fat guy in the desert it’s never going to be good. I was pretty sure that would be day that I die.”
After Middle Man, O’Heir said he would love to return to TV and is thrilled by the response to the Parks and Rec finale.
“I’ve been touting it for the past couple of months,” O’Heir said. “When I got that script for the finale I truly I had chills in my arms.”
O’Heir told us that after the cast appeared on Seth Meyers on the night of the finale, they headed over to Sweetwater Social Club in Greenwich Village. There they had a private gathering with the rest of the Parks crew and watched the finale together.
“There were, of course, a lot of laughs. There were tears. When it was over, the credits were rolling and then it said, ‘We Love You Harris,’ and there was just this silence,” O’Heir recalled. “It wasn’t an awkward silence, it was just a silence. There was nothing to say. That silence went on for minutes. But not uncomfortable. We all needed it. Then somebody said, ‘Ah, it was okay.’ And that broke the silence with a big laugh.”
If you’re interested in donating to O’Heir’s Middle Man campaign, you can do so here.