The untold truth of Aubrey Plaza

You may know Aubrey Plaza as the distinctively deadpan intern April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation, as the disenchanted romantic interest Daisy Danby in Funny People, or as the sarcastic Julie Powers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. But there's a lot more to the actress and comedian than an apathetic attitude that, despite her many straight-faced roles, doesn't actually define her in real life. Plaza has starred in a variety of shows and has been featured in a number of films — and she has certainly got quite a future ahead of her in Hollywood.

So what else is there to know about the actress beyond the impressive work she's done thus far? What were young Aubrey Plaza's teenage years like? And where does she plan to take her comedic career in the future? Read on to learn the untold truth of Aubrey Plaza, a woman who's surely going places.

How Aubrey Plaza got her name

Aubrey Plaza was always going to be someone special. While her parents couldn't have known that she'd ultimately grow up to become a celebrity comedian and renowned actress, they certainly knew she'd be "a not so very ordinary girl," as the lyrics of the song "Aubrey" read. That's right: Plaza's parents named her after a song by the 1970s band Bread, according to an interview she had with W magazine. Bread, featuring singer-songwriter David Gates, was at the helm of the soft-rock scene of the early '70s, as noted by Rolling Stone.

"I think I'm the only Aubrey Plaza that exists in the entire world; I've looked it up," she told the magazine. "I did find out that my name means 'ruler of the elves.' If you look it up in a baby book, it's a man's name and it means king of the elves, so..."

It's no secret that this elf king isn't an ordinary girl.

Aubrey Plaza was a groomswoman in her dad's wedding

Aubrey Plaza and her two sisters, Renee and Natalie, donned suits for their father's wedding in South Philadelphia, according to an Instagram post the actress shared on Father's Day in 2017. "Happy Fathers Day to the coolest dad alive who let me and my sisters dress like this in his wedding last night ... #groomswomen #plazafamilia," she captioned the black-and-white photo of her and her sisters with their father – all in stylish suits with dark sunglasses — on his wedding day.

"It was a blast," she said of the nuptials on Conan. "My family loves to party, and that's what we did all night long."

Plaza told host Conan O'Brien that her grandmother didn't approve of the idea, but that didn't stop the sisters from being groomswomen and Natalie, the middle sister, as serving as the best man. She also told O'Brien that the photo on her Instagram is just a "typical wedding portrait." Typical for someone like Plaza, that's for sure.

Aubrey Plaza felt like she was "popular but not necessarily cool" in high school

Aubrey Plaza went to an all-girls Catholic school in her hometown of Wilmington, Del., as she told Cosmopolitan. And she explained to the magazine that she was "popular but not necessarily cool."

All of us can empathize with feeling different in some sort of way, especially as a teenager. But not being cool didn't seem to hamper Plaza's teenage life in any way. According to Cosmopolitan, Plaza was "disruptive but funny" in school and considered herself to be a "type-A overachiever." She and her friends were always being goofy, dressing up in public places and trying to get a rise out of passersby. "The funniest thing about it was that most people don't react, they ignore," she revealed.

Based on her silly adolescent antics, Aubrey Plaza was clearly destined for a successful career in entertainment and comedy.

This was what Aubrey Plaza's first kiss was like

Seldom do we hear good first-kiss stories; nine times out of ten, a first kiss story is a cringe-worthy one. And, to little surprise, Aubrey Plaza's first kiss takes the cake for being memorable in, well, not the best way.

According to an interview with W magazine, Plaza's first kiss was with a boy who ended up going to a juvenile detention center for kicking others with a screwdriver taped to his feet. Teenagers do a lot of stupid stuff, but this one is really out there. Unfortunately for Plaza, that first kiss in what she guesses must have been seventh grade isn't only a poor memory because of who it was with. She also remembers that the kiss itself wasn't exactly ideal — rather, she told W magazine, "I remember that it tasted like metal." She recalled that the boy had licked her teeth during their kiss.

We hope for Plaza's sake that her experiences have only gotten better since then. It doesn't sound like they could get much worse...

Aubrey Plaza was class president and student council president in her school days

Aubrey Plaza may play a number of dispirited characters on television, but she sure had a lot of personality and disposition in her student career. She was heavily involved in student activities throughout her childhood and teenage years, according to an interview with GQ.

Discussing how she was growing up in school, she told the magazine, "I was president of every club that I could be president of," noting, "Class president. Student council president, which is the ultimate." Plaza, who played volleyball and softball in school, noted to GQ, "I'm generally really interested in things and people," adding, "And I like things and people."

Of course, being the class president requires a certain level of school pride and involvement. Most class presidents are hyper-engaged with their studies, extracurricular activities, and sports. And, in many schools, class presidents have to be voted into their positions of authority. So, for Plaza to have served as president in multiple student organizations, it says a lot about her character in real life. But really, who wouldn't want Aubrey Plaza as class president? Imagine the dead-pan assembly speeches she'd give.

At just 20 years old, Aubrey Plaza had a stroke

While it may seem like celebrities have it easy, the reality is that they're just people, too. And all people endure challenges and hardships in their lives — some worse than others. In Aubrey Plaza's case, she suffered from a stroke due to a blood clot in her brain's language center when she was 20 years old, according to an interview with The Guardian.

"It just happened," she told the publication. "I was talking, and I looked down at my arm — it was like my arm wasn't attached to my body. I couldn't feel anything on my right side. I blacked out or something for a minute, and then when I was conscious again, I couldn't speak."

As a result of the stroke, she was left temporarily paralyzed with expressive aphasia for two days. While she could understand what people were telling her, she couldn't respond to anyone through her speech. Fortunately, she recovered, and, according to The Guardian, "the experience put certain things into perspective."

What Aubrey Plaza did before finding acting success

It's no secret that actors have to work hard before they really earn a living. Many of them likely break the bank when auditioning before they ever actually land a role that'll pay the bills. That's why it's not uncommon for many actors to take part-time gigs to make ends meet while they look for work. Some, like Aubrey Plaza, will wait tables at restaurants, for example.

But while Plaza may be a go-getter, she seems to be more proactive in chasing her dreams than just taking on any kind of work. Speaking with W magazine, she said that her policy was to have "no loyalty to any establishment." She shared, "If they prevented me from auditioning or from following my dreams, then I would just quit right on the spot." She added, "That's not sustainable in the restaurant industry is what I was told."

When Aubrey Plaza first moved, she lived at a Days Inn

If you've heard the term "starving artist" before, you won't be surprised that Aubrey Plaza didn't just make the big bucks right away. Nope, the famous face we all recognize today didn't even have a home to her name when she first moved to Hollywood, as she told Cosmopolitan.

Plaza moved from Queens to Los Angeles on her own and checked into the Days Inn on Hollywood Boulevard, where she went on to temporarily live "with a bunch of Swedish tourists." Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do and fake it until you make it.

Moving across the country is a big move to make — especially when you don't have a place of your own in which to settle. But Plaza wasn't the only funny woman in that hotel. She was at the Days Inn alongside Lennon Parham, an American actress and comedian. And both Plaza and Parham went on to find success in their careers.

Aubrey Plaza can't help but be a leader

Aubrey Plaza was a leader growing up, always taking on presidential roles in school groups. And that part of her personality stuck with her in adulthood. Once she had the chance to produce a project, she realized that she's drawn to leadership roles, she told Cosmopolitan. It's why she tends to take charge when she's on set, and it's also why she expresses a deep interest in the direction of the shows and films in which she acts.

"Once I produced something and I realized how much of an impact I can have, I could never go back," she said in her interview. "I've always gravitated toward more of a leadership position in whatever I'm doing."

When on the set of Child's Play, for example, Plaza didn't serve as a producer, but she told the magazine that she acted like one. She said she was always "watching the monitor when other people were doing their scenes when [she] should have been in [her] trailer relaxing or something."

This is Aubrey Plaza's favorite movie

One of Aubrey Plaza's favorite films is A Star Is Born — specifically, the original Judy Garland version, as she told W magazine. The 1954 film that was written by Moss Hart and directed by George Cukor; Judy Garland starred alongside James Mason. Despite the talented remakes with stars Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson starring in the 1976 version and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper taking the spotlight in 2018, Plaza loves the 1954 original thanks to Garland's performance.

"A Star Is Born is probably one of my all time favorite movies," Plaza told W magazine. "I was very obsessed with Judy Garland growing up," With Garland known for a number of famous films — including The Wizard of Oz (which had many things only adults would notice) in 1939, Meet Me in St. Louis in 1944, Easter Parade in 1948, Summer Stock in 1950, and many more — who hasn't been obsessed with the iconic movie actress?

Aubrey Plaza wants to play this comic book character

Aubrey Plaza has played so many roles in shows and films throughout her career. But there's one role she has yet to play, and that's the role of Catwoman. Catwoman is a character who appears in DC Comics' comic books, usually with superhero Batman. There have been tons of talented actresses who have played Catwoman already, including Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway. And who's to say that Plaza won't be next?

"I want to be Catwoman," the storied actress told GQ when asked about her "dream role." She continued, "I want my shot at Catwoman, and I want it soon."

We hope Plaza gets to fulfill her dream of playing Catwoman sooner rather than later, too. And we have no doubt that she will, given her track record of success in achieving her life's goals. Given the fact that she's been moving past strictly sarcastic roles in her acting career, it's obvious that Plaza is preparing herself to dive into different types of characters.

Aubrey Plaza isn't as deadpan in real life as most people may assume

While many of Aubrey Plaza's characters — like April Ludgate in Parks and Recreations, Daisy Danby in Funny People, and Julie Powers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – are sarcastic, the actress may not actually be so harsh in real life (though she does seem sharp-tongued!).

"When I meet people for the first time, they can't believe I'm not going to be mean," she told The Cut in an interview. "They'll do a thing where they'll be kind of mean to me, and I can tell they think that that's what I'm like." And since she said she's a "people pleaser," she'll usually grant their wishes of sarcasm. She went on, "Sometimes it's fun for me, because if I say something sarcastic or whatever, they'll eat it up; they aren't offended. I'm like, I know what you want. You want me to f***ing say something weird to you. Fine."

Still, she also told The Cut that she wishes people would stop assuming that she's going to do that "Aubrey Plaza thing" both in real life and onscreen. When actors get pigeonholed as one character type, after all, it can be difficult to break into different kinds of roles.

Aubrey Plaza named her dog after this celebrity

Aubrey Plaza loves actress Judy Garland so much that she actually named one of her two dogs after her, as she shared with W magazine. Her furry friend's name is Frances (nicknamed Frankie), named after Garland's real name, which was Frances Ethel Gum. (For those curious, Plaza's other dog is named Stevie.)

On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Plaza told host Ellen DeGeneres that Frankie is a "Dutch royal dog." She was bred for Dutch royalty "in the 18th century or something" she said in the interview.

While Frankie was a rescue like Stevie, Plaza tells herself that the dog has quite the epic past life. "I'm convinced that there was a Dutch prince who went shopping on Rodeo Drive and accidentally just, um, lost her — and then she went into a construction site and was hiding, and then they found her there," she said. "So [she] actually belongs in a castle." If Plaza keeps working as hard as she is, she and her dogs (Stevie included!) may just end up with a castle of their own some day.

When she was starting out, Aubrey Plaza was cast in multiple projects in one week

Aubrey Plaza has had a seriously successful career as an actress thus far — and it all sort of kicked off at once. In fact, she had all of her meetings for Funny People, Parks and Recreation, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in one week, and she ended up getting casted for all of them. While many people may feel overwhelmed taking on so much work at once, Plaza has proven to the world that she can handle it.

"My whole life kind of just changed over night," she told W magazine of her career in entertainment. She went from being a waitress in Queens, N.Y. to being a famous face in Hollywood in what felt like the blink of an eye. Since the onset of her television and film career, Plaza has captured fans' attention in Child's Play, Dirty Grandpa, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The To Do List, Safety Not Guaranteed, Legion, and more.