Rashida Jones Interview - JustJared.com Exclusive
Earlier in the day, the 35-year-old actress (from the hilarious NBC comedy Parks & Recreation) spoke exclusively with JustJared.com about her new comedy, Our Idiot Brother – starring Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, and Emily Mortimer – which is out in theaters today!
Check out JJ‘s fun interview with Rashida inside…
Rashida Jones Interview – JustJared.com Exclusive
Rashida Jones: Hi Jared! How are you?
Just Jared: Great! What are you working on today?
RJ: I’m at home writing a movie. I wrote comic book ["Frenemy of the State"] and my writing partner and I are adapting it for a movie. Writing is so hard! There’s all kinds of weird muscles in my brain that feel like they’re being exercised.
JJ: Is this the first adaptation you’ve ever worked on?
RJ: This is definitely the first adaptation. This is the third script we’ve written together. You’d think it’d be easier because I’m adapting from my own work. But it’s hard, it’s like an action movie, which is hard.
JJ: What’s been the toughest part of adapting?
RJ: It’s a socialite who’s recruited to work for the CIA, so just finding the balance, making it fun and funny and also trying to keep some things interesting and mysterious and suspenseful.
JJ: Who do you think is the perfect socialite if you could have your dream casting?
RJ: Dream casting and perfect socialite are kind of different for me, because I want somebody who can crush a car. Ideally, Dakota Fanning would be perfect, she’s so talented! Emma Roberts is amazing, who I just worked with. She’d be perfect too!
JJ: What was it like working with Emma [in your upcoming dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever]?
RJ: She is a fantastic girl – a very smart, hilarious, well-read, well-rounded person. It was a joy, to work with her. She’s a little pop star with a lot of attitude.
JJ: Where and when did that film?
RJ: That filmed in L.A. from May to the beginning of July.
JJ: How was working with Elijah [Wood] and Andy [Samberg] and Will [McCormack]?
RJ: The greatest dream come true. Every single one of those people is extraordinary, talented, cool to hang out with, really funny, and so fun! It was great to work with Andy. I don’t think people know what a talented actor he is, not just a comedian. Elijah is the greatest, I want him to be my wing man always and everywhere. And obviously working with Will was a dream.
JJ: Any favorite memories with the cast?
RJ: There’s a scene where Emma and I are at a club and she’s dancing with her butt in my face and she couldn’t tell how close in my face her butt was. It was right in my face, and she kind of kept going after we yelled cut…I was like, “OK!”
JJ: You’re currently filming Parks and Recreation. Which episode are you up to? And what’s the very first scene for your character in season 4?
RJ: We just finished episode 4. I’m working for City Hall now, so it’s like my first real integration, trying to get used to being in that environment, and there’s a little bit of a City Hall scandal that ends up being directly related to me.
JJ: What can we expect from [your character] Ann Perkins in the new season?
RJ: I’m kind of struggling to fit in a little bit, so it’s like me trying to be popular with everybody at work and being met with the likes of the impenetrable Ron Swanson and the unimpressed April Ludgate. I’ve stopped focusing on zoos and now I’m focusing on trying to be popular.
JJ: Can you give us a sneak peak of Patricia Clarkson as Tammy 2?
RJ: She’s amazing! I think generally she’s played very relaxed characters and she’s kind of frightening which is a nice change, she is hilarious nice! I actually wasn’t working that day but I snuck in to watch her act. She’s insanely talented.
JJ: You have a movie coming out, Our Idiot Brother. What was the makeout scene with Zooey like?
RJ: It was, you know, slightly awkward, because we’re friends and we’re all friends with the director. It was my first on-screen lesbian experience, so there’s not a lot of firsts left for me! It was interesting and awkward, but Zooey’s a very pretty girl, and there’s also no fret, she’s married, I don’t like women in that way — I love them in other ways, but not in that way. It’s a very real scene, we’ve been dating for a long time, we’re just a regular couple, it’s just a little loving smooch. It just makes everybody else uncomfortable. I think that’s probably why it’s notable.
JJ: Do you have lesbian and bi friends that you conferred with about your character?
RJ: I do! And I really, really needed their approval about my wardrobe and I got it, which makes me really happy! It would be way too broad to say I represent every kind of lesbian. I was really doing a very specific type of girl who lives in Brooklyn, is a professional, kind of liberal, and lives in a house with a lot of people. But also, she has to straddle the line of being slightly conservative because she works with lawyers.
JJ: Do you have a favorite prop from the set?
RJ: I loved my glasses, does that count?
JJ: It does count! Very geek chic.
RJ: I love my glasses. They’re incredible. They’re probably my favorite prop from any movie ever.
JJ: You have The Muppets also! Were your scenes with mostly Muppets, or did you have any humans in your scenes?
RJ: All my scenes were with Muppets, which was really nice. I had a couple scenes with Jason [Segel] and a few with Amy Adams, but most of my scenes were Muppets. I’m going to try to put that in my contract from now on in my life, to only do scenes with puppets. Do you think people are gonna be okay with that? (laughs)
JJ: Were you acting in front of a green screen? On location?
RJ: We were mainly at the Muppet Theater. I don’t want want to blow too much — I’m just gonna say the Muppet Theater. But I’m not in any of the musical numbers — I’m kind of a stern, stressed-out TV person.
JJ: How did you get involved with the International Rescue Committee?
RJ: They approached me, looking for people to be voices. I didn’t know much about them because they’re incredibly effective and also very low-key. I really like their message, it’s so clear: it’s all about providing relief for people who are displaced, whether it’s because of war, conflict or natural disasters — they’re there for immediate relief and emergency relief and they’ll be in one place for 12, 15 years.
And I like how much of the money that you donate to them — 90%, I think — goes to the actual helping of people and not to administrative costs. All the people that I’ve met there have been incredibly smart, caring, and invested in the people that they work with. I’m so honored that they asked me to be involved.
JJ: What was your favorite part of Thailand? Did you like certain foods there?
RJ: Thailand is so beautiful! The people are really sweet, beautiful, and nice and the food is insane. They have this delicious lime that I can’t really find here. But lime and lemongrass…I love the flavors of the food.
JJ: Do you have a favorite YouTube video?
RJ: There’s so many! I love Battle at Kruger, it’s just like the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! Insane amounts of people have watched it, but it’s basically a pride of lions and then a herd of buffalo. They have a standoff and then the lions steal a baby buffalo and the buffalo retreat because they’re scared. And then they come back and they bully the lions and get the baby buffalo back. While they’re getting it back, they’re fighting for the buffalo with an alligator that pops up out of the water. They fight over the baby, they get it and they run, but it’s like the prey turn on the predator.
JJ: Do you have a favorite junk food?
RJ: Oooh, pizza. Pizza’s never bad, there’s no bad version of pizza.
JJ: What’s the most inspirational thing you witnessed this week?
RJ: That’s such a good question! My brother just adopted this tiny little puppy — my older sister’s a vet and she found this little baby puppy in Inglewood just missing an eye. Its eye was hanging out of this puppy’s face and my brother adopted her. She’s like the most full of life, adorable, sweetest little thing! You have no idea the world could be any different for her, she’s just so happy to be alive and prancing around. That was a good reminder that it’s good to be grateful for what you’ve got. Her name is Una (for the one eye).
JJ: What do you look for in a man now that you’re 35 and not, say, 25?
RJ: (laughs) I guess somebody who’s responsible and of their word and confident and likes what they do.
JJ: What was the last book you read?
RJ: The last book I read was “Super Sad True Love Story”, by Gary Shteyngart. It’s a love story that takes place in the near future, and it’s this frightening interpretation of what it’s going to be like very, very soon. It feels a little bit too close to home, like kids who were raised on porn and celebrity and shopping, and what happens to that generation.
JJ: I’m sure you could touch on that in your adaptation of your comic book!
RJ: That’s what we’re trying to do!
JJ: What’s your favorite movie of the summer?
RJ: I really liked Crazy Stupid Love. I know it wasn’t really a summer movie, but I loved it.
JJ: Last question! You said you never want to join Twitter because it invites stalkers into your life. Have you ever had a change of heart, or do you feel the same way?
RJ: Is that what I said? (laughs) I have not had a change of heart, no. I don’t know if I have the constitution to invite that many people to listen to me say things, because then I feel like I’m performing every time I write a message. I’m not sure I have enough interesting things to say to sustain an audience. People say it’s such a good tool…maybe when I have my own things that I want to promote, maybe I will…I’m so scared! Won’t people get bored if I send a link to an article about how the brain works?
JJ: People will follow you if they’re interested. They can also unfollow you if they’re not. But I’m sure people will follow you!
RJ: Okay, if I try, you have to follow me!
JJ: I definitely will! Thank you so much, good luck with all of your projects!
RJ: You’re welcome, Jared! Nice to speak to you, thank you so much!
Our Idiot Brother is in theaters NOW!