Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza was born in Wilmington, DE. Puerto Rican on the side of her father, a financial planner, and Irish on the side of her mother, an attorney, Plaza was named for a song by the band Bread. She began performing as early as age eight at the Wilmington Drama League but developed her skill for instigation at the private, all-girl Ursuline Academy, staging a day of fake mustache-wearing and once following her principal home by concealing her presence inside a cardboard box. In 2002, Plaza enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and was studying improv with the Manhattan-based Upright Citizens Brigade by age 18. Prior to her 2006 graduation from NYU, Plaza worked as an NBC page at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and as a set design intern during the 2004-05 season of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-). She also appeared in Susan Buice and Arin Crumley's "Four Eyed Monsters" (2005), an ultra-low budget independent film marketed successfully via the Internet.Despite a lack of professional experience, Plaza began racking up an impressive list of credits, both on television and via web-based short form comedy series. She appeared in a walk-on as an NBC page in a first season episode of the sitcom "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006-13), wearing the very uniform in which she had once conducted studio tours. She played a chemically dependent teenager in episodes of the web series "The Jeannie Tate Show," a mock talk show set inside the rolling minivan of Liz Cackowski's New Jersey soccer mom. On the ESPN web series "Mayne Street" (2008-), Plaza played against type as bespectacled network executive Robin Gibney, the dryly dismissive superior of series lead Kenny Mayne.In 2009, Plaza enjoyed a breakout year when she joined the ensemble cast of the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" (2009-15). Although she had never met star Amy Poehler at Upright Citizens Brigade or during her internship at "SNL," Plaza's apathetic college intern April Ludgate was presented in contrast to Poehler's manic Deputy Parks Director Leslie Knope, making them two sides of the same comic coin. In the second season, April was given an ongoing romantic subplot and Plaza's chemistry with costar Chris Pratt helped establish the pair as one of television's most endearing couples in the vein of Jim and Pam of "The Office" (NBC, 2005-2013). For Dan Eckman's "Mystery Team" (2009), Plaza traveled to New Hampshire for the screwball tale of a trio of former child detectives still attempting to chase down evil-doers as awkward, hormone-wracked teenagers. Plaza had a higher profile supporting role in Judd Apatow's "Funny People" (2009), as the love interest of Seth Rogen's up-and-coming comedy writer.Even as she stepped up to a significantly enhanced role in the second season of "Parks and Recreation," Plaza continued to make Internet comedy, such as the Funny or Die short subjects "Pete Carroll's Trip to Seattle Delayed" (2010), featuring the legendary pro football coach as himself; "Breakup in a Noisy Diner" (2010), directed by her fellow UCB trouper Jeff Garlin; and the premiere episode of "Terrible Decisions with Ben Schwartz" (2009), whose title character denies Plaza the proper degree of boyfriend-girlfriend intimacy in the moments before Earth is destroyed by an approaching asteroid. In Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (2010), based on the graphic novel of Brian Lee O'Malley, Plaza brought her trademark deadpan delivery to bear as seething twenty-something Julie Powers, who plays the glowering antagonist to Michael Cera's eponymous slacker hero but has an uncommonly keen insight into his character.Having made meteoric strides only four years out of college, Aubrey Plaza continued with a diversified career path. She turned up in episodes of the satiric IFC series "Portlandia" (2010-), created by former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. She also remained active in the creation of original comic content for the Internet, most notably in the College Humor Original series "Troopers," an ongoing spoof of "Star Wars" (1977) for which Plaza donned a unicorn horn hairpiece to reimagine Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia Organa as a churlish grump.Plaza's first leading film role came in the indie comedy-drama "Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012), in which she starred opposite Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson. The film, in which Plaza plays a magazine intern who gets drawn into a peculiar story about a mysterious man who claims to have built a working time machine, won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and received strong reviews. Smaller roles in Roman Coppola's oddball comedy "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" (2013) and the blockbuster Pixar sequel "Monsters University" (2013) followed. Also in 2013, Plaza carried a film by herself for the first time with the teen comedy "The To Do List," in which she played a high school valedictorian who attempts to lose her virginity before she leaves home for college. Her second leading film role came in the zombie comedy "Life After Beth" (2014), which was followed by supporting roles in the indie drama "About Alex" (2014), Hal Hartley's "Ned Rifle" (2014), and the romantic comedy "Playing It Cool" (2014). She also played an exaggerated version of herself in Greg Poehler's sitcom "Welcome To Sweden" (NBC 2014-15), produced by her "Parks and Rec" co-star (and Greg's sister) Amy Poehler. Later that year, she playfully mocked her public persona with a voiceover role in the title role of the tongue in cheek holiday film "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever!" (Lifetime 2014). As "Parks and Recreation" came to a close in early 2015, Plaza co-starred in dark indie comedy-dramas "Addicted To Fresno" (2015) and "The Driftless Area" (2015) before making a move into mainstream comedy with the hits "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016), in which she starred opposite Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine and Zac Efron, and "Dirty Grandpa" (2016), opposite Efron and Robert De Niro. Plaza returned to television with a supporting role in the X-Men-connected superhero series "Legion" (FX 2017-), as well as recurring appearances in procedural hit "Criminal Minds" (CBS 2005). Plaza reteamed with "Life After Beth" writer/director Jeff Baena, whom she began dating in 2011, for a small role in his dark comedy-drama "Joshy" (2016) and a starring role as a rebellious nun in "The Little Hours" (2017), a deliberately anachronistic comedy set in a 14th-century Italian convent.