What Has Aubrey Plaza Been Up To Since Parks And Recreation?

If you are a fan of "Parks and Recreation," surely you will remember Aubrey Plaza as the actress who played April Ludgate on the NBC sitcom. On the show, she was an intern who regularly cut through her colleagues with such potent sarcasm that viewers were left with no option than to admire her for it. Aubrey Plaza actually embodies the apathy and caustic humor of that role so much that her personality in real life seems to be a continuation of her persona on the show. You might be excused for thinking she was still doing an impression, even when she's dead serious.

In fact, it was revealed that producers had to make room for her character on the show after the casting director told the show's creator, Mike Schur, that she'd just interacted with "the weirdest girl I've ever met in my life."

The 37-year-old actress has spoken about people's perception of her, telling the Independent in April 2021, "I've had so many moments where I'll say something very sincerely and people will completely think that I'm taking the piss out of them." With a personality like that, it's no wonder that she has been referred to as "sarcasm queen" and "the poster girl for deadpan humor."

But what has Plaza been up to since she dropped the April Ludgate role she brilliantly held for all seven seasons of "Parks and Recreation?"

After Parks and Recreation, Aubrey Plaza worked alongside A-list actors

After the last season of "Parks and Recreation" aired in early 2015, Aubrey Plaza continued working and was featured in the raunchy comedy, "Dirty Grandpa," alongside Zac Efron and the iconic Robert De Niro. The movie follows the story of Dick Kelly (played by De Niro) "who, after losing his wife of 40 years, asks his onetime favorite grandchild Jason (Zac Efron) to drive him from Atlanta to Boca the day after her funeral," per Entertainment Weekly.

The real intent of this dirty grandpa who was aptly named Dick, is to have sex for the first time in 15 years while on the trip. Plaza plays the role of his sex-crazed love interest in the film. So as you can imagine, what follows is an insane chain of events.

But Plaza was not even supposed to be De Niro's love interest in the film! It was revealed that after reading the script, she decided that she wanted the role alongside De Niro, instead of the one that was originally assigned to her. Narrating the story to Seth Meyers on his "Late Night" show, she said after getting the story, "If I'm going to be in this movie I'm going to play the girl that has sex with Robert De Niro, because that's what I want to do."

Plaza's original role in the movie was to be Efron's love interest.

Aubrey Plaza has also pursued roles in indie films

Aubrey Plaza pursued a role in the small indie film, "Ingrid Goes West," after "Parks and Recreation" came to an end. In this 2017 indie film, Plaza picked up the character of Ingrid Thorburn, a mentally unstable and almost deranged woman who moves all the way from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to stalk her favorite social media influencer (as per The Guardian). Her role in this movie has been widely referred to as one of her most critically acclaimed since fans fell in love with her on "Parks and Recreation."

On Rotten Tomatoes, "Ingrid Goes West" got an approval rating of a respectable 86%, certified fresh — more than 190 critic reviews combined to give it a strong recommendation. The critical consensus on the website read, "Led by strong performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, 'Ingrid Goes West' delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations."

Aubrey Plaza turned her attention to nuanced film work

Aubrey Plaza followed up her amazing performance in "Ingrid Goes West" with another performance in "Black Bear," that further showed her ability to deliver powerful, brilliant acting. According to the film's synopsis, Plaza played Allison, a filmmaker suffering from a lack of inspiration, who then retreats to an isolated lake house where she manipulates and controls her hosts in an attempt to create a work of art.

"The film explores the idea of a director manipulating his actress for a performance, which does happen," Plaza told the Independent of the film. "There's a romanticized history of mad genius male auteurs manipulating their actresses to get performances, and they're forgiven because of how talented they are and how brilliant the movies are."

Judging by the approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 151 reviews, it is safe to say Plaza has continued to go strong with her acting career after "Parks and Recreation."

Of her career and inspiration, Plaza told the Independent in 2021, "I'm just always interested in the silliness and the weirdness and the uncanniness of life." It's fair to see that we certainly haven't seen the last of the talented actress.