Rashida Jones sat down with journalists last week to chat about being more than just another girlfriend in I Love You, Man, exiting The Office, and her upcoming TV show with BUST‘s fave cover girl, Amy Poehler.
Q. Can you talk a bit about your upcoming project with Amy Poehler?
A. It’s called Parks and Recreation, and it comes on April 9 on NBC. It is a comedy about local government and the challenges that you face when trying to actually execute any kind of project on a city level.
Q. It was amazing that they kept it so mysterious, what the show was going to be about…
A. I know, it was insane.
Q. People were wondering if it was going to be an Office spin-off. Was it always mysterious to you as well?
A. Completely. Honestly, I was kind of on hold for it, not knowing anything about it, not being told anything about it. Not knowing if I was even going to do it, and I actually found out as everybody else found out. I’d be like, ‘Is it really a spinoff?’ I’d have to call people and get confirmation. But I understand their need to keep it under wraps, because they want people’s expectations to be anything that they’re not.
Q. Are you Karen?
A. Nope. It is not a spin-off.
Q. So it’s a clearly a separate universe?
A. It is a separate universe. It takes place in Indiana.
Q. It’s the same kind of mockumentary style as The Office, sort of following you around?
A. Similar styles, but the difference is, you don’t know why the crew’s following The Office office, but you can kind of tell a little more [in Parks and Recreation] because it feels like two crews at once is following me — I’m like the concerned citizen with the complaint, and the other is following Amy Poehler’s character who’s the city official, and looking inside city government and they kind of converge as we converge as friends.
Q. Are you done with The Office?
A. I think for the time being. It would be a little weird… Our show’s going to be on with The Office, so it would be weird to do parallel universes, two people who look a lot alike, but are different characters.
Q. There have been complaints from female actresses in comedies like I Love You, Man that their characters are really unrelatable. What was your take on that? How did you bring your own personal take on women to this comedy, which is really all about dudes?
A. Well, first of all, [I Love You, Man director and screenwriter] John Hamburg clearly really likes women and has a lot of respect for them, and respect for the dynamism of just being a female, which I think is kind of rare. When I read the script, the first thing I was attracted to was that this was a well-rounded character and this was a kind of independent person with a strong point of view, and wasn’t just like the girlfriend of the guy. She’s integral to the story, to the way the movie moves. That made it really easy. And then all the other girls in the movie are amazing and have very specific points of view as actresses and as characters, so it made it really easy. And I also am a loudmouth, so I brought that to the role I guess.
I Love You, Man comes out March 20th, and it’s really funny. Are you gonna see it?
(Image courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures)