Sex Advice From Aubrey Plaza

The star of Parks and Recreation and the upcoming Safety Not Guaranteed reveals the best way to approach her. Are you listening?

by Andrew Osborne

We caught up with Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza at a screening of her new time-travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, for advice on time-travel dating, erotic role-playing, and how not to get shot down like Ryan Gosling. Safety Not Guaranteed comes out this Friday; you can watch a trailer here.

You play characters who can be sort of intimidating, and you recently made internet news when Ryan Gosling tried to approach you... 
Ha. what would you say is the best way for people to approach you?
Just come up and slap me real hard in the face.

To get your attention?
Yeah. Just manhandle me. I need it.

What about your advice for approaching ladies in general? What's the trick?
Confidence. I think a little friendly aggression is necessary. I think girls like to know that the guy's just on point and knows what he wants. That's very attractive.

And what's the best way for a woman to approach a man?
Naked. I don't know — girls approaching guys? Guys should approach girls. Is that... am I not supposed to say that?

What would you say to Ryan Gosling right now if you had a do-over?
[long pause] "I'm so sorry. I don't know why we're here. This makes no sense to me. C'est la vie. Let's go eat pizza."

The internet is full of guys professing their love for you. What are your male fans like in person?
I don't know! I don't have any male fans in person. Where are they? Why are they hiding? No one ever professes their love for me. They're shy and afraid of me. I wish someone would just come up to me and grab my face and kiss me, but people are too chickenshit.

When this goes into print, you'd better be careful.

What's the most charming way a male fan has ever approached you?
The first boy who ever became my boyfriend — who I ever fell in love with — actually sang a song that he wrote for me in front of his parents and a bunch of people at an Irish pub when we were thirteen. That was how he asked me out. And that boy won a Tony for Spring Awakening a few years ago. That was magical.

Your upcoming film The To Do List — originally titled The Hand Job — stars you as a girl who's never done anything with a guy before and has to gradually learn everything, starting with a handjob. What advice can you give women who've never done more than kissing?
Treat it like a science experiment. Roll up your sleeves, put a hard-hat on, and just get in there and figure it out. With science.

Your costars in the movie include Alia Shawkat and Rachel Bilson. Who has the most obsessed fans?
Interesting question. I have no idea, but I do know that when we were filming the movie, paparazzi were literally following Rachel Bilson from her house to the movie set and waiting for her after every scene that she did. But there are a ton of obsessed Alia Shawkat fans out there, so it's probably a tie. They're a different kind of fan, but equally obsessed.

You’ve also got Andy Samberg, and Donald Glover. Who does better with women?
Hmm. I don't know, I can't answer that question.

Well, which one would be a better wingman for you at a bar?
Wait, if I was at a bar, trying to pick up — girls, or guys?

Either or.
Why can't I have both? If I had Donald Glover in his Childish Gambino mode and Andy Samberg being adorable and sweet and making people laugh, it'd be the perfect combination, for me... to score... with... anyone. I'd be unstoppable.

Your character on Parks and Recreation, April, keeps her marriage fun by sometimes adopting the persona of one "Janet Snakehole." What do you think of role-playing in relationships?
In the bedroom?

In... anywhere. 
I'm in favor of it. I mean, if both people want to play around with each other in that way, go for it. If one person wants to role-play and the other one doesn't, that seems like a bad combination.

Did you come up with Janet Snakehole, or was that a writer creation?
Well, the name was a writer creation, but I kind of added my own flavor to it. I think it was a collaborative kind of thing. But Amy [Poehler] wrote that episode, and she was kind of looking for — she knew I had this weird 1940s persona that I wanted to use, and so she pimped me out on that a little bit.

In Safety Not Guaranteed, your character responds to a personal ad that says, "WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me." If you had the ability to go back to any era, where would you take someone for the best possible date?
I would take the person to London, 1969, and we would go see Judy Garland do her last concert, and it'd be really awesome. And then we'd get married.

April on Parks and Rec has a pretty dry sense of humor. Is there anything you wouldn't be sarcastic about in real life?
Witches, because I don't want to be cursed to hell and have a black magic spell ruin me. Also, Nicolas Cage. I think he's amazing, and I'll never make fun of him and I'll see every movie he's in. So that's my answer. Witches and Nicolas Cage.

I just started dating a girl. She's a virgin, and I've more or less slept with an entire small town. How much should I tell her?
Draw her a book. Tell her in pictures only. Don't use words; use illustrations. Be as colorful as possible.

Crude illustrations?
Depends on your past. Vary the level of detail accordingly.

Want to meet a sardonic intern? Meet them on Nerve.

Commentarium (20 Comments)

Jun 04 12 - 9:51am

Watch out, that Andy Samberg guy has been known to make fun of Nicolas Cage....

Jun 04 12 - 12:01pm

can aubrey ever give a straight answer? i wonder...

Jun 04 12 - 12:03pm
J McNulty

April and Andy are quite possibly the best TV couple of all time. They make me regret the years I've wasted rooting for Jim and Pam.

Jun 04 12 - 12:05pm
Seymour B.

I heard she has a thing for older men -- specifically Bill Murray (I don't blame her! I'm a straight guy! I think).

Jun 04 12 - 12:10pm

i just thought shes been unfairly typecast as a sardonic hipster in all her parts, but i feel better knowing shes like that in real life

Jun 04 12 - 6:18pm

me as well. Its just annoying to be this off-putting and snarky. Answer one question as a human being, please. Ugh, those eyes too. I've come around to April's character, but Aubrey IRL seems incredibly grating and hard to be around.

Jun 04 12 - 6:40pm

Man, I was excited for this. Dug it until "I don't know — girls approaching guys? Guys should approach girls. Is that... am I not supposed to say that?"

Just because you acknowledge that's probably a dumb thing to say doesn't make it less of a dumb thing to say.

Jun 04 12 - 8:52pm

Hm. That was actually my favorite part. Besties before testies, I guess.

Jun 05 12 - 11:45am

So Aubrey's first boyfriend was John Gallagher, Jr.? That's pretty awesome.

Jun 05 12 - 1:09pm
Duke City Muscle

Anyone want to bet how long it takes between this interview getting published and Aubrey appearing in the news for suing men who slap her, man-handle her, and kiss her exactly as she says she wants? The last thing this world needs is another 20-something faux cynic with carefully rehearsed snarky remmarks who wants to be treated as authentic when she talks but as a poseur when she's called to task.

Jun 05 12 - 1:40pm

wow, first of all, fuck you? hopefully the collective of people that read this article are intelligent enough to understand that she is just fucking kidding. you're kind of a huge dickbag to even entertain that she WOULDN'T have the right to sue someone for manhandling her just because she's joked about it. that's like saying any and all jokes made by any and all comedians are fair game. if someone has a bit about his mom getting shot to death, does that make it fucking okay for someone to do it? no you asshole. now go sit in the dipshit corner and think about how your stupid internet comment has detracted from intelligent society. better yet, throw your computer out the window. you clearly can't handle the responsibilities that come with owning one, dickweed.

Jun 05 12 - 4:03pm

I have nothing to say except you are 100% right and your response is flawless.

Jun 05 12 - 4:04pm

I just realised how ambiguous that reply is. Directed at ces, of course.

Jun 05 12 - 10:38pm

I love it when people get internet hysterical over a troll comment. It's beautifully stupid.

Jun 12 12 - 10:25pm

Especially when they put words in the troll's mouth that he didn't actually say.

(Hint: the OP didn't say that "she WOULDN'T have the right to sue someone for manhandling her just because she's joked about it"; he just noted that her world-weary schtick is tiresome, and that we don't need more snarky, vapid people in the world. And we don't, really.)

Jun 05 12 - 10:44pm

What about the Daria rumors! I want a Daria Movie staring Aubrey Plaza!

Jun 07 12 - 8:33am

This was weird

Jun 08 12 - 2:53pm

AUBREY I LOVE YOU!!! I DON'T GIVE A SHIT HOW LAME THE PEOPLE WHO WILL SEE THIS THINK I AM! I fell in love with the character April Ludgate and I think you are so hilarious in Scott Pilgrim and Portlandia. I can't wait to see you in The To Do List! Your delivery is so delicious and I can just tell that you are this really awesome, genuinely weird person. You are beautiful and I totally wish we could be friends because I so think we'd get along!

I really hope she reads this! Maybe she won't...but either way, FUCK HATERS!! :)

Jun 10 12 - 12:00am

The most attractive woman in Scott Pilgrim, and that's saying something. Very glad to see she is finding the fame she deserves

Jun 12 12 - 1:52am

I love Aubrey Plaza but this interview was very awkward. I feel like she is just trolling on the interviewer, but that is cool with me.