As the drolly comatose April Ludgate on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Aubrey Plaza commands every scene she’s in with little more than an apathetic scowl. In real life, however, the 27-year-old actor, who’ll soon appear on the big screen in five new films—Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress and Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III among them—is lively, loquacious even. This isn’t because she’s a complex genius, but rather because she has multiple personalities: Aubrey (A high school outcast who smokes for show), Aubrey Plaza (A Banana-hating teen pop sensation), and Aubrey Christina Plaza (an improv enthusiast with a flip cam).
Security Guard: Excuse me! You can’t go in there. That is a VIP area. Only family and friends of Ms. Plaza’s allowed.
Aubrey: What if I am Ms. Plaza?
SG: Also, please put away the Flip cam. No pictures.
Aubrey: I need this. I have to videotape myself interviewing myself.
SG: Are you on drugs?
Aubrey: Maybe. [Aubrey Plaza enters, glistening from her show.]
Aubrey Plaza: She’s okay, Lorenzo. Let her in. She’s me.
SG: I quit. That’s some fuckin’ wack Hannah Montana bullshit.
[Inside Aubrey Plaza’s dressing room.]
Aubrey Plaza: Why are you so late? You never watch my shows! Did you bring the Flip cam?
Aubrey: I hate watching myself. It’s painful—I can barely listen to my own voice. And I’m late because I was in the middle of an intense Battlestar Galactica game with my nerd friends. It lasted six hours. I was Starbuck and I was stuck in the brig for most of the game until I got out and nuked the Bay Star. The Cylons won though. They always do. Frakkin’ toasters.
AP: Loser. It’s like you never leave your cave.
A: I hate going out. I’d rather be in a blanket hole watching bad reality TV or good movies. How are you walking in those heels?
AP: Mild painkillers. My makeup artist gives them to me. They are amazing. If I didn’t take them I’d be paralyzed like you.
A: Thanks a lot. Where are we going? I’m starving. All they had downstairs were bananas and pretzels, and you know how much I hate those.
AP: I forget why you hate pretzels. Bananas are the worst. Wait, why do you have a cigarette? You don’t smoke.
A: It looks cool.
AP: True. Oh, now I remember. You hate all snacks because you didn’t grow up eating them. I hate bananas because my dad used to slice them up and put them in his cereal in the mornings, and take milky-mushy bites while trying to bond with me. That’s all I think about when I see bananas: mush.
A: It feels like there’s something else going on there… I’ll leave it alone. But I do love plantains.
AP: That’s the Puerto Rican in you.
A: Thank you for remembering. People never believe that I am half Puerto Rican.
AP: I totally get it. People never believe that I’m half Irish!
A: You should show them that video of you from when you were 6 and competing in that Irish dance competition. Now that’s funny, a little awkward brunette trying to take all the curly red-haired girls down. Six? Wait, have you always been performing?
AP: Hey, slow down. I thought I was interviewing you!
A: Whatever. Stop playing with your hair.
AP: I’m not playing with it. I’m listening to it. Like this. [She takes a thin piece and makes a little loop and starts crunching it in Aubrey’s ear.] You hear that?
A: Yes, I like that sound. Now I understand why you do that all the time.
AP: It’s soothing. It helps because I am super-famous and there are so many people who want things from me. Instead of listening to them, I listen to my hair.
A: You’re not that famous.
AP: Neither are you. Except in Delaware. Delaware is so weird! I don’t know how you lived there!
A: I liked it. It was weird and kind of witchy. There are a lot of scary back roads, like Devil’s Road, that I used to drive around with my friends. We used to drive down there and stop at the dead baby tree. That’s where the cult members used to sacrifice babies. It’s also called Cult House road. Mom loves it. Whenever I go home for the holidays, she always packs my cousins in the car and takes them to Devil’s Road to scare the shit out of them. It’s a family tradition.
AP: My only family tradition is drinking! Speaking of which, I’m wasted. Mama loves her tequila.
A: Are you referring to yourself as “Mama”?
AP: Yes. When I’m drunk I call myself Mama and do illegal things, like stealing stuff off of walls in bars. You know you’re jealous!
A: Not really. I’d rather dress up in a queen costume and go to that weird Polish restaurant in Eagle Rock. Polka! If you dress like royalty they treat you like royalty. Actually that’s not true, but I do it anyway.
AP: You seriously need to learn how to party.
A: Polka is a party. Polka!
AP: Okay, shut up. We need to do this interview. Where’s the fucking Flip cam?
Aubrey Christina Plaza: I have it. It’s me, Aubrey Christina Plaza. [Dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, Aubrey Christina Plaza is leaning against the wall videotaping.]
AP/A: How did you get in here?
Security Guard: I let her in. But I still quit. Also, I’m in love with her.
ACP: And I am in love with him. I think I have enough for the interview. I’m not sure what BULLETT wants from us, but I will give them this. Do you guys want to go eat Vietnamese food and then see an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, my favorite place in the world?
AP: Sounds like fun. I will bring my tequila.
A: Whatever, as long as I can pretend to smoke there.
ACP: You may. And I shall bring Lorenzo, and we will all live happily ever after.
Styling by Brett Bailey.
Photography by Danielle Levitt