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Interview with Rashida Jones of NBC's Parks and Recreation

Five Minutes With Rashida Jones

Between I Love You, Man and Parks and Recreation — which premieres tonight on NBC — it's shaping up to be a pretty good Spring for Rashida Jones. I caught up with the actress back at NBC's press tour party, where we talked about her new role as nurse and community activist Ann Perkins, her thoughts on the Jim and Pam relationship on The Office, and even a little about Top Chef. Here are some highlights:


  • On working with Amy Poehler: "We're actually really good friends. So it's a crazy present to be able to work with a friend that you love so much. It's so rare. People always ask what drew you to a part and usually I'm like, 'Drew me? They cast me!' Like, we don’t get that much choice. You have to be super famous to have choice. This was just like a lucky, lucky, lucky situation."
  • On being cast in a new show, instead of an established series like The Office: "I think it’s nice to be on the starting team and to have a new voice and be part of the development process."
  • On playing the much-maligned Karen Filippelli: "I was terrified [to join The Office]. I stupidly, at the beginning, looked at what people online said, and they were so mean. I will never do it again. . . . But I stupidly did that, and I was right to be scared, but ultimately, I think and I hope that they did such a good job of carving out a real character that you could hate me as much as you want because you want the other two to be together but you saw and understood logically the possibility."

To find out whether Jones would, like her character, ever get wrapped up in politics and whether she thinks Jim and Pam got together too soon, just read more.

  • On the critique that Jim and Pam got together too early: "Well, it's been four years! I mean, I don't know about your relationships, but if a guy's not with me after four years — hit the road."
  • On her own attitudes toward politics: "You know, I definitely always thought that was maybe a career path for me in my life . . . and it may still be down the road. But yeah, I'm fascinated by it. I’m fascinated and disturbed at the same time."
  • On how she fills her non-work time: "I'm starting to experiment with cooking for myself, which is new because I lived in New York and had a tiny kitchen and always ate out. So now I just, you know, make food for myself. It’s going great. I love Top Chef, so that helps. It makes me really hungry."

Photo courtesy of NBC

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