7.2 C
London
Friday, January 27, 2023
HomeWomenAubrey Plaza on SNL - FEMAIL reveals how The White Plaza actress...

Aubrey Plaza on SNL – FEMAIL reveals how The White Plaza actress became Hollywood's hottest star

Date:

Related stories

spot_imgspot_img


She is set to host Saturday Night Live for the first time on January 21, over 15 years after actress Aubrey Plaza failed her audition to join the ensemble cast of the iconic sketch comedy show.

The full circle moment comes at a time when the 38-year-old’s star has finally cemented her place as a hot commodity in Hollywood thanks to her praised performance in HBO anthology series of The White Lotus.   

After nearly two decades of working in the industry, Plaza has built up a cult following of fans who can’t get enough of her awkward nature, sardonic wit and distinctively deadpan style.

Indeed, the star’s talent is now being welcomed by all thanks to her steady appearances in projects, her often viral interviews and her status as a bisexual icon. 

Aubrey Plaza has finally cemented her place as a hot commodity in Hollywood

It comes after years of being seen as the awkward comedy actress

Aubrey Plaza has finally cemented her place as a hot commodity in Hollywood, after years of being seen as the awkward comedy actress

The actress first made waves by playing April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation from 2009 to 2015, however her ‘intimidating’ and ‘awkward’ personality appeared to hold the star back from shooting to superstardom like castmate Chris Pratt.

‘People project my characters onto me and it’s just the tone of my voice or the rhythm of how I speak that sounds like I’m being a jerk or something,’ she told Cosmopolitan magazine in April 2022. ‘I also think a lot of times people will try to out-weird me before I even say anything.’

Nonetheless, Plaza continued to work steadily films such as Funny People (2009), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Life After Beth (2014), Ingrid Goes West (2017) and Happiest Season (2020). 

Now it appears the sky is the limit for the comedic actress after she landed a Golden Globe nomination for her work as Harper Spiller in The White Lotus and she joined the cast of an upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series.

Here, FEMAIL explores how the offbeat actress has transformed herself from an outcast to a Hollywood’s most unique IT girl. 

From Delaware to New York City: How the half-Puerto Rican actress left her small town to pursue acting – only to be met with rejection

Plaza is about to host SNL for the first time, years after she was rejected in her bid to join the ensemble cast

Plaza is about to host SNL for the first time, years after she was rejected in her bid to join the ensemble cast

As a teen, the star worked through the awkward teenage years by developing her love for improv and acting by participating in productions with the Wilmington Drama League

As a teen, the star worked through the awkward teenage years by developing her love for improv and acting by participating in productions with the Wilmington Drama League

Born in June 1984 to attorney Bernadette and financial advisor David Plaza, the actress grew up with two younger sisters in Wilmington.

Her paternal grandfather, Ismael, was born in Puerto Rico and moved to mainland US when he was just 17 years old.

Speaking about her family, the actress previously explained: “I’m half-Puerto Rican. But, yeah, I have a huge family and tons of cousins in Puerto Rico.’

Plaza, whose mother is of Irish and English descent, was raised ‘very Catholic in a very Catholic household’ which resulted in her attending all-girls Catholic school Ursuline.

In high school, the star worked through her awkward teenage years by developing her love for improv and acting by participating in productions with the Wilmington Drama League. 

Her passion and talent then saw her study film at the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2006.

At just 20 years of age, Plaza suffered a stroke which changed her outlook on life.

In a 2017 interview, she explained that she was talking to some friends in 2004 about how she had taken one of her little sisters to a Hilary Duff concert, when she lost the ability to speak. 

The aspiring actress was taken to hospital, but was not treated immediately because of her age. The doctors did not think she was having a stroke and instead suspected drug use. It was several days before she was able to speak again.

The actress grew up with two younger sisters in Wilmington and had an early love for acting

The actress grew up with two younger sisters in Wilmington and had an early love for acting

Her passion and talent then saw her study film at the prestigious New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2006 (pictured in 2009)

Her passion and talent then saw her study film at the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2006 (pictured in 2009)

‘I guess it sounds cheesy to say, but I think I always am aware of how precious life is, and I try to remember that every day,’ she said in the radio interview. ‘I try to see the bigger picture and try not to take things so seriously and try not to get hung up on the small things. I can’t help but think that it has affected me in ways that I won’t even know until later. But I do have a overall feeling of life is short. And I might as well just do as much as I can.’

As she attempted make her name in the industry with renewed drive, Plaza auditioned to join the cast of legendary comedy showcase, SNL.

However, she failed to make the final cut after a rather distinctive audition which was a great indication about the star’s future career path.

Recalling the experience during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Plaza explained: ‘I didn’t make it to the Lorne [Michaels] audition, the famous final audition, but I did a preliminary first-round showcase.’

Plaza said that she performed two distinctive characters as she added: ‘I remember one character I did was like a Puerto Rican news reporter that was always trying to make all of the news stories sexy, even if they were horrific news stories. I was just trying to like, sex up the news or something.’

Her second character was similarly kooky as she continued: ‘I was a pill-popping housewife that had my own talk show called Celebri-Tails, where I would just name celebrities and name what kind of tail they would have if they had a tail.

‘Like I would say, “Lindsay Lohan would have a bushy squirrel’s tail.” Or, like, “Bill Clinton would have a polar bear’s nub.”‘

Though she didn’t make the cut, Plaza did managed to get work as an intern in the design department from 2004 to 2005.

‘They loved me because I did not care about set design at all and they wanted an intern that had no interest in learning what they did’, she quipped.

According to Plaza, she spent the majority of her time as an intern ‘lurking in the shadows’ and ‘stalking’ instead of talking to the rest of the cast. 

At just 20 years of age, Plaza suffered a stroke which changed her outlook on life and pushed her to chase her dreams (pictured in 2009)

At just 20 years of age, Plaza suffered a stroke which changed her outlook on life and pushed her to chase her dreams (pictured in 2009)

After failing to join the SNL cast, she joined the show as an intern and spent her time'lurking in the shadows' and'stalking' instead of talking to the rest of the cast

After failing to join the SNL cast, she joined the show as an intern and spent her time ‘lurking in the shadows’ and ‘stalking’ instead of talking to the rest of the cast

She joked: ‘I was just, like, creepy. Like, I was a creepy stalker. Now I’m gonna host it, so my master plan worked!’

In the years since, Plaza has admitted that rejection in the early days of her career helped to keep he motivated.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan magazine, she explained: ‘I remember feeling rejected at a young age. I wanted to act so badly and I had some other friends in my peer group, like John Gallagher Jr., who’s an amazing, Tony Award–winning actor, and I would watch him do auditions and get cast in plays and stuff when we were in high school.

‘I was like, “I want to do that too,” but then I would go and get rejected. It fueled me. I just remember being like, “They don’t even know.” I was so awkward and weird. But I had this burning thing where I felt so misunderstood. Once I started doing community theater and I found my weirdo friends, I felt very emboldened to just really be myself and not care.’

She continued: ‘Public pranks were a big part of my growing up and it was this addictive feeling of doing something embarrassing and not caring what anyone thinks. It feels like a superpower or something. If you don’t care, then you’re free.’

However, the star did struggle with the fact she could be perceived to be ‘intimidating’ and ‘on the offensive’ when people first meet her.

In April 2022, she express her amusement about being misunderstood by people in her everyday interactions and what she says is frequently misconstrued.

She told the publication: ‘I’m more often misunderstood in my everyday interactions, which still continues to make me laugh.

‘Like all my text messages are getting misconstrued—I think people think that I’m never serious, but a lot of times I’m just saying what I actually think.

‘I’ve heard more than once that I’m intimidating, that I’m on the offensive all the time, but I’m not.’

While waiting to land her first big role, the actress had many internships and worked as an NBC page while brushing up her improv and sketch comedy skills with Chicago group Upright Citizens Brigade and at Laugh Factory and The Improv. 

Slow and steady: Plaza used her comedic skills to bag regular gigs after making her mark in comedy series Parks and Recreation

Plaza starred in Parks and Recreation after one of the casting directors described her as the weirdest girl she’d ever met to the show's creator

Plaza starred in Parks and Recreation after one of the casting directors described her as the weirdest girl she’d ever met to the show’s creator

Plaza was often refereed to as one of the show's breakout characters, with many fans still perceiving her as the character years later (pictured far right)

Plaza was often refereed to as one of the show’s breakout characters, with many fans still perceiving her as the character years later (pictured far right)

After playing Seth Rogen’s love interest in 2009’s Funny People and a CollegeHumor shorts with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, the actress made waves with the role of April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation thanks to her typically deadpan style.

In a 2011 interview with The AV Club, co-creator Michael Schur said that the part was written for her. 

He met up with Plaza after one of the casting directors described her as the weirdest girl she’d ever met. 

‘Aubrey came over to my office and made me feel really uncomfortable for like an hour, and immediately I wanted to put her in the show,’ Schur explained. 

Speaking to The Guardian years later, Plaza mused: ‘I have no idea what I did in that meeting to weird them out so badly. But I think I just didn’t realize what a big opportunity this was for me. I had never been to Hollywood before.

‘I was a huge fan of The Office and this meeting was on the set of The Office, and I was so distracted by all the famous people walking around, like, “Oh my God, it’s BJ Novak! And Mindy Kaling!”‘

She continued: ‘I think maybe they were more used to normal actors who seem like they are actually trying to get the job.’

The actress received universal praise throughout the entire show for her performance as the hilariously  deadpan employee while acting alongside the likes of Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones and Chris Pratt.

Plaza was often refereed to as one of the show’s breakout characters, with many fans still perceiving her as the character years later.

‘People project my characters onto me and it’s just the tone of my voice or the rhythm of how I speak that sounds like I’m being a jerk or something,’ she told Cosmopolitan magazine. ‘I also think a lot of times people will try to out-weird me before I even say anything and I just want to be like, “Whoa, you’re coming in hot.”‘ 

Reflecting on the root of her awkward nature, Plaza once told Conan O’Brien that it might have been down to her days at Irish Dancing competitions.  

Plaza played a part in cult classic movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2010

Plaza played a part in cult classic movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in 2010

She also teamed up with Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine and Zac Efron for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates in 2016

She also teamed up with Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine and Zac Efron for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates in 2016

The actress played a woman stalking her Instagram idol in the black comedy-drama, Ingrid Goes West in 2017

The actress played a woman stalking her Instagram idol in the black comedy-drama, Ingrid Goes West in 2017

The film - which also starred Elizabeth Olsen - became yet another cult classic attached to the Plaza's name

The film – which also starred Elizabeth Olsen – became yet another cult classic attached to the Plaza’s name 

‘It was an existential moment I had where I realized like oh that’s probably why I’m so awkward and weird is because I was taught at a young age to have no expression,’ she joked.

Elsewhere, Plaza stated that having the chance to work with Poehler and Jones at the star of her career meant she was able to receive guidance about working in the industry.

‘Maybe it’s because I’m an older sister, so I never had my own older sister. I’m sure my therapist would have something to say about that’, she began. ‘Parks and Rec was my introduction to acting and living in L.A., and I had Amy [Poehler] and Rashida [Jones] take me under their wings; they became my older sisters.’

She continued: ‘I do feel like I have a lot of mentor friends and I gravitate toward powerful women. I idolize them.’

During filming, the star suffered another stroke healthcare after she had a transient ischemic attack on the set. 

When Parks came to an end in 2015, Plaza had a string of movie roles under her belt and the 2012 Young Hollywood awards for Breakthrough Performance (Female) for her performance in Safety Not Guaranteed.

She continued to keep her face on both the big screen with parts in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Ingrid Goes West and The Little Hours.

Meanwhile, she made regular appearances on the small screen as well with roles in Criminal Minds and several voice acting projects.

The actress stated in an interview: “I don’t live a life where I’m constantly reminded that I’m an actor or that I’m famous.

‘When I’m in L.A., there are paparazzi photos of me walking my dogs every day because they’re waiting for Brad Pitt but they get me instead.’

Hollywood’s hottest commodity: The actress is reaping the reward of her hard work after landing a string of big projects

She delighted fans across the globe with her performance alongside the likes of Jennifer Coolidge in the second season of The White Lotus

She delighted fans across the globe with her performance alongside the likes of Jennifer Coolidge in the second season of The White Lotus

Her portrayal of Harper Spiller, a woman on vacation in Italy with her husband Ethan and his friends left viewers wanting more

Her portrayal of Harper Spiller, a woman on vacation in Italy with her husband Ethan and his friends left viewers wanting more

The tide officially began to change for the actress in 2022 after she was honored at the Newport Beach Film Festival for her crime drama, Emily the Criminal.

She then delighted fans across the globe with her performance alongside the likes of Jennifer Coolidge and Theo James in the second season of The White Lotus.  

Her portrayal of Harper Spiller, a woman on vacation in Italy with her husband Ethan and his friends Cameron and Daphne left viewers wanting more, with many hoping the star could reprise the role in a third season.

Indeed, she landed a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, much to the delight of fans. 

Following on from the success of The White Lotus, Aubrey is set to feature in multiple projects that are sure to continue her current dominance of both the big and small screen. 

In November 2022, it was revealed that she had been cast in the upcoming WandaVision spin-off Agatha: Coven Of Chaos starring Kathryn Hahn.

The actress will join Hahn, 49, who reprises her role of Agatha Harkness, in an undisclosed role that is believed to be a villain.

In December 2022, she was pictured filming a scene for her upcoming film Megalopolis with director Francis Ford Coppola and co-star Adam Driver.

The film is a passion project for the Oscar winning director who, Variety reported, is spending $120 million of his own money to bring it to the big screen.

Forest Whitaker, Shia LaBeouf and Nathalie Emmanuel are just a few of the cast members to sign on of the upcoming flick.

The plot hasn’t been fully released, but it’s described on IMDB.com as ‘an architect wants to rebuild New York City as a utopia following a devastating disaster.’

Elsewhere, Plaza is believed to be a frontrunner to be cast as the next Tomb Raider.

Nothing but love: The married star’s candid love life confessions helped her become a bisexual icon

In a 2016 interview, Plaza admitted she is well aware that she is a lesbian icon (pictured with SNL's Chloe Fineman

In a 2016 interview, Plaza admitted she is well aware that she is a lesbian icon (pictured with SNL’s Chloe Fineman

Plaza poked fun at the topic again by engaging in a steamy make-out session withFineman in a new promo for her upcoming SNL appearance

Plaza poked fun at the topic again by engaging in a steamy make-out session withFineman in a new promo for her upcoming SNL appearance

Plaza has the internet abuzz after she begged Drew Barrymore to'be my mommy'

She asked the actress'put me to bed' during an appearance on the Drew's News podcast

The actress recently had the internet abuzz after she begged Drew Barrymore to ‘be my mommy’ and ‘put me to bed’ during an appearance on the Drew’s News podcast

In a 2016 interview with The Advocate magazine, Plaza admitted she is well aware that she is a lesbian icon.

During the chat, she confirmed that she has also fallen in love with women in the past. 

‘I know I have an androgynous thing going on, and there’s something masculine about my energy,’s she explained. ‘Girls are into me – that’s no secret. Hey, I’m into them too. I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.’

Interest in her sexual preferences became a hot topic in December 2022 after the actress  bizarrely begged Drew Barrymore to ‘be my mommy’ during an appearance on the Drew’s News podcast.

‘Be my mommy…feed me…nurture me…nourish me…put me to bed,’ Aubrey pleaded in a baby voice. 

Drew, clearly amused by her guest, responded with: ‘What I wouldn’t do to put you to bed.’

Still acting childlike, Aubrey declared: ‘I’m a hungry baby!’

Before moving onto the next segment, Drew assured the Parks and Recreation alum that she has ‘everything you need.’ 

Plaza poked fun at the topic again by engaging in a steamy make-out session with Chloe Fineman in a new promo for her upcoming SNL appearance.

Plaza is happily married to director and screenwriter Jeff Baena after they tied the knot in 2021

Plaza is happily married to director and screenwriter Jeff Baena after they tied the knot in 2021

The couple just wrapped production on their film, Spin Me Round; Baena is seen in the photo on the left in the baseball cap

The couple just wrapped production on their film, Spin Me Round; Baena is seen in the photo on the left in the baseball cap

However, Plaza is happily married to director and screenwriter Jeff Baena.

In May 2021, she surprised fans with the revelation that she had tied the knot with her boyfriend of 10 years.

Plaza often works with Baena, 45: the comedienne has starred in his movies Life After Beth (2014) and The Little Hours (2017). He also created Showtime’s series Cinema Toast which she directed.

In 2019 she said of her partner: ‘I think that when you’re with someone that is in your field, they understand what you’re dealing with on a deeper level.

‘So obviously you are able to support each other and really understand kind of the journey that we’re both on,’ she told People.

‘So I think that can be really great,’ the actress continued. ‘But, you know, working with your partner can always be challenging. There’s a lot of things we do separately and I think that it’s all about balance.’

Subscribe

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories

spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here