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When Aubrey Plaza shows up to lunch in Manhattan one recent afternoon, she’s a little embarrassed to be escorted by a publicist. “It’s like getting dropped off by your mom on a first date,” she says as she rolls her eyes. “I’m still getting used to the whole thing.”
The “whole thing” is Plaza’s fast rise from an obscure Upright Citizens Brigade comedian (check out her ace impersonation of Sarah Silverman on YouTube) to landing a plum gig on Amy Poehler’s new show Parks and Recreation, which was just renewed for a second season. On the series, Plaza plays the bored, disaffected intern who’s mentored by Poehler. Comic acting is not something the Delaware native is totally comfortable with: “Growing up, I was more like Reese Witherspoon in Election,” she says, but she’s getting used to it. “Seeing myself on TV is like a mixture of ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ and ‘I want to kill myself.’ “
Next up? Plaza has a spot in Judd Apatow’s Funny People, where she plays an aspiring comedian who dates Seth Rogen’s character. “We have a make-out scene,” she says with a smile. “It went great — on top of a car. You know how they all go.” And she’s gearing up to film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, a graphic novel adaptation about a musician-turned superhero, starring Michael Cera.
“I play this, like, crazy bitch who works in a record store and throws all these parties,” she says. “All the cast is learning cool stuff, like fight training and band practice. I’m not learning any new skills for my character. Except bad customer service.”