Aubrey Plaza says it’s a constant battle to prove that she isn’t April Ludgate, her apathetic and deadpan character from cult NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation.”
“I don’t want any role to ever define me,” Plaza recently told Business Insider. “Being on a television show for seven years was the greatest gift that was ever given to me and I wouldn’t change it for second. But I think moving forward, it’s very important to me for people to not associate me so heavily with the characters that I play.”
And while she calls it a “challenge” to get Hollywood and her fans to see her apart from that role, for which she became beloved, she’s still proud of what she accomplished.
“The character I played on ‘Parks and Rec’ was such an icon for millennials,” the 32-year-old actress said. “There was something about April Ludgate that people really responded to, which I really love and I’m happy about. But I think in regards to getting more work and being seen in different ways, it’s always a challenge to remind people that I can play many different characters and not just one kind. I see that as a fun challenge.”
Currently, Plaza appears on the FX series “Legion,” a
Marvel show based on the obscure title character.
Played by Dan Stevens, Legion aka David Haller is a mutant with incredible mental powers who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at an early age. Plaza plays his closest friend and fellow mental hospital patient, Lenny, a role that was originally meant to be played by a 50-year-old male.
She took on the role on the condition that it not be rewritten for her. With Plaza playing Lenny, she comes off as a drug-addled lesbian with a penchant for mischief.
“If anything, it’s that much more satisfying when people see me in a film or see me do a different character or in real life and say, ‘Oh, she’s not April Ludgate at all. She can be totally different than that,'” Plaza said. “There’s good and bad with everything.”