Aubrey Plaza is a talented actress, comedienne and producer who is best know for her role as the hilarious intern April Ludgate on “Parks and Recreation.” She’s had a very successful acting career, starring in a wide variety of films. Recently she starred as Harper in Season 2 of the HBO hit “The White Lotus.”
Aubrey Plaza on Film
“Parks and Recreation”
Aubrey portrayed intern April Ludgate in every season of the NBC sitcom, serving up hilarious, deadpan lines. Series creator Michael Schur explains:
We wrote the part for Aubrey. Allison Jones, who is one of the people who cast the show, called me and said, “I just met the weirdest girl I’ve ever met in my life. You have to meet her and put her on your show.” Aubrey came over to my office and made me feel really uncomfortable for like an hour, and immediately I wanted to put her in the show. We didn’t totally know what we were going to do with her, we just thought it would be funny if Leslie had a college-aged intern who she wanted to inspire, and that that person would be Aubrey Plaza.
Check out our reviews of seasons one, two and three.
“Safety Not Guaranteed” (2012)
This indie film is a hidden gem featuring some excellent performances by the cast, giving Aubrey a vehicle to further show off her acting chops. Critic Jason Zingale notes, “Plaza proves that she can do more than spout witty one-liners and mug for the camera with her best work to date.”
“10 Years” (2012)
Aubrey gets a small role in this mediocre comedy.
“The To Do List” (2013)
Critic David Medsker notes this this film is funny, but it could have been funnier. Still, he loved Aubrey in the lead role as Brandy Klark, “Aubrey Plaza delivers a fearless performance as the curious virgin, her supporting cast delivers laughs by the pound, and the movie has a coming-of-age vibe to it that was unexpected but most welcome.”
“Life After Beth” (2014)
This zombie flick is pretty bad, despite the efforts of talented Aubrey. “Kudos to Aubrey Plaza for completely throwing herself into the role, because it’s her committed performance (balancing the sweet and sour sides of Beth’s combating personalities) that prevents the film from being any worse.”
“Dirty Grandpa” (2016)
This is one of those bad films that you can’t help but watching till the end, as some of the scenes, though ridiculous, are hilarious. Robert De Niro goes all in on this insane role, and Zac Efron is a good sport with some of the humiliating scenes he has to endure. Aubrey gets to have some fun as a horny coed who has the hots for grandpa, but most of the film is just a string of over-the-top bits strung together in a crazy script.
“Ingrid Goes West” (2017)
This dark comedy from director Matt Spicer doesn’t quite live up to its potential. As for Aubrey’s performance, critic Jason Zingale explains, “Aubrey Plaza is excellent in the title role, and Elizabeth Olson turns in some good work as the subject of Ingrid’s obsession, but the movie doesn’t really accomplish anything by the end.”
“The White Lotus” Season 2 (2022)
In Season 2 of this hit HBO series, Aubrey stars alongside a stellar cast featuring established Hollywood actors and actresses along with some amazing newcomers. This season of the limited series is set in Sicily, so we’re also introduced to some amazing Italian actors and actresses. Aubrey’s character Harper is pretty uptight and is married to Ethan (Will Sharpe) who has just sold his business for a ton of money. He’s good looking but a little nerdy and awkward, and the two of them are awkward together. They’re on vacation in Sicily accompanied by Ethan’s college friend Cameron (Theo James), a rich financial planner, and his hot and bubbly wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy). The chemistry between the two couples is awkward from the beginning. As with everything on this show, things then start to get a little weird. This storyline intertwines with several others as viewers are left to wonder which character or characters won’t survive.
Aubrey does an excellent job here with the character of Harper, conveying a range of feelings and thoughts through subtle facial expressions and body language. Watch the trailer here.
This excellent profile of Aubrey has some great stuff. Aubrey says, “I’m a total people pleaser, and it’s something that I’m dealing with in therapy. I think that might come as a surprise to people because they project on to me this disaffected persona. But I totally care what people think, and I wish that I didn’t. I wish I was more like Emily, in fact, and it was really good for me to play that character because it reminded me that I can assert myself, and I can set boundaries and stuff, because I’m really not good at that.”
Aubrey discusses her many projects, including controversy around her “Little Demon” role, saying “it’s not the first time that a project I’ve done has created some kind of backlash in the Christian community.”
Best of April Ludgate
Aubrey is so hilarious in this role.
April Ludgate being mean for 8 minutes straight
More comedy gold.