Aubrey Christina Plaza
June 26, 1984
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University|
Aubrey Christina Plaza (born June 26, 1984) is an American actress, comedian, and producer. She began her career performing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She starred as April Ludgate on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009–2015), and later featured in the FX drama series Legion (2017–2019).
Plaza had her first leading film role in Safety Not Guaranteed (2012). She also starred in the films Mystery Team (2009), Funny People (2009), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), The To Do List (2013), Monsters University (2013), Life After Beth (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), The Little Hours (2017), Ingrid Goes West (2017), An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn (2018), Child's Play (2019), Happiest Season (2020), and Black Bear (2020).
Early life and education
Plaza was named after the song "Aubrey" by Bread. Her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is of Irish and English descent. She has also stated that she has Taíno ancestry. According to a 23andMe DNA test, Plaza found that her genetic background was 30–34% Iberian, 30–31% Irish, 8–9.9% West African, 7% Native American and 0.6% Ashkenazi Jewish.
Plaza has stated: "I was like the only diverse kid in my high school, and I'm half-Puerto Rican. But yeah, I have a huge family and tons of cousins in Puerto Rico," and that she grew up "very Catholic in a very Catholic household". She graduated from Ursuline Academy, an all-girls Catholic school, in 2002. In high school she was student council president and participated in productions with the Wilmington Drama League. She studied film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2006.
Plaza suffered a stroke when she was 20 years old that caused temporary paralysis and expressive aphasia. A couple of years later, she had a transient ischemic attack while on the set of Parks and Recreation.
2006–2015: Beginnings and Parks and Recreation
Plaza has had many internships, and worked as an NBC page. Plaza has performed improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater since 2004. She also performed stand-up and has appeared at the Laugh Factory and The Improv.
Plaza starred in the online series The Jeannie Tate Show, and starred as Robin Gibney in ESPN's Mayne Street. She appeared in the first episode of "Terrible Decisions with Ben Schwartz" on Funny or Die.
She played Seth Rogen's love interest, Daisy, in 2009's Funny People directed by Judd Apatow. She appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team, which debuted at 2009 Sundance. She appeared in a CollegeHumor short alongside Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.
She played April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation from 2009 to 2015. For her performance as the deadpan employee, she received universal praise throughout the entire show, being referred to as one of the show's breakout characters.
On March 12, 2010, Plaza performed at "A Night of 140 Tweets: A Celebrity Tweetathon for Haiti", produced by Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Ben Stiller, and Mike Rosenstein, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2011 she appeared on Portlandia. Plaza appeared as a guest judge during a roast segment on The Next Food Network Star in 2011. She appeared in Episode 199 of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. She also had a recurring role as "the Princess" in the comedic sci-fi web series Troopers on CollegeHumor.
In 2012, she was featured in Father John Misty's music video for the song "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" from the album Fear Fun and in 2014 she was in Cassorla's "Bona Fide" video where she also made her saxophone-playing debut.
In 2012, Plaza earned her first starring role in a major film, alongside Mark Duplass, in the comedy, Safety Not Guaranteed. Plaza played Darius, a jaded intern who answers a curious want ad "seeking a companion for a time traveling adventure". Her performance in the film was critically acclaimed.
She won the award for Breakthrough Performance (Female) at the 2012 Young Hollywood Awards (YHA).
In 2013, she had the leading female role as Sacagawea in Drunk History episode "Nashville" in the segment on Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In 2013, she also had the starring role in the CBS Film The To Do List. In an apparent unplanned bid to promote this film, Plaza attempted to snatch Will Ferrell's MTV Movie award for "Comedic Genius" with the film's name written across her chest and a drink in hand, this resulted in her being ejected from the studio lot at which the ceremony was held.
At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Plaza's film, Life After Beth, which was written and directed by her now-husband Jeff Baena, premiered. Plaza also voiced Grumpy Cat in the Lifetime Network's original movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014).
2016–present: Legion and further film roles
She starred in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates alongside Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Adam DeVine. The film was released on July 8, 2016. Her role as the rebellious Tatiana earned her critical praise.
She first played the role of Cat Adams, a contract killer, in Season 11 of the CBS television show Criminal Minds. She returned to the role in Seasons 12 and 15.
Plaza is set to produce and star in the Netflix comedy film Hope.
Plaza received the 2021 Actor Achievement Award from the Hollywood Critics Association for her role in Black Bear.
Plaza is married to writer and director Jeff Baena. They have been in a relationship since 2011 and have collaborated on several films. In a May 2021 social media post, Plaza revealed that she and Baena are married, referring to him as "my darling husband."
|2006||Killswitch||Girl with Head Wound||Short film|
|2006||In Love||Julie||Short film|
|2009||Mystery Team||Kelly Peters|
|2009||Funny People||Daisy Danby|
|2010||Scott Pilgrim vs. the World||Julie Powers|
|2011||Damsels in Distress||Debbie|
|2011||Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You||Jeanine Breemer|
|2012||Safety Not Guaranteed||Darius Britt|
|2012||A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III||Marnie|||
|2013||From Up on Poppy Hill||Sachiko Hirokouji||English dub|
|2013||She Said, She Said||Woman in Park||Short film|
|2013||The End of Love||Aubrey|
|2013||The To Do List||Brandy Klark||Leading Character|
|2013||Monsters University||Claire Wheeler (voice)|||
|2013||Center Jenny||Monika Nark|
|2014||Life After Beth||Beth Slocum|||
|2014||Playing It Cool||Mallory|||
|2014||Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever||Grumpy Cat (voice)|
|2015||Addicted to Fresno||Kelly|
|2015||The Driftless Area||Jean|
|2016||The Pistol Shrimps||Herself||Documentary|
|2016||Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates||Tatiana Darcy|
|2017||Take My Nose... Please!||Herself||Documentary|
|2017||The Little Hours||Fernanda||Also producer|||
|2017||Ingrid Goes West||Ingrid Thorburn||Also producer|
|2018||An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn||Lulu Danger|
|2019||Child's Play||Karen Barclay|||
|2020||Black Bear||Allison||Also producer
Hollywood Critics Association Award for Acting Achievement (2021)
Imagen Award for Best Actress—Feature Film (2021)
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Film (2021)
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress (2021)
|2020||Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia||TBA|
|2020||Happiest Season||Riley Johnson|||
|2021||Best Sellers||Lucy Stanbridge|||
|2021||King Knight||Pine Cone (voice)|
|TBA||The Ark and the Aardvark||Brain (voice)||Post-production|||
|TBA||Spin Me Round||TBA||Post-production|||
|TBA||Emily The Criminal||Emily||Also producer, post-production|||
|2006||30 Rock||NBC Page||Episode: "Tracy Does Conan"|
|2009–2015, 2020||Parks and Recreation||April Ludgate||125 episodes|
Nominated—ALMA Award for Favorite TV Actress—Supporting Role (2011)
Nominated—ALMA Award for Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role In A Comedy (2012)
Nominated—Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress—Television (2010, 2012–2013)
|2011||Portlandia||Beth / Bookstore Customer||3 episodes|
|2011||Troopers||The Princess||Web Series|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||The Rememberer||Episode: "Wasila Hills Cop"|
|2013–2014||The Legend of Korra||Eska (voice)||12 episodes|
|2013||Drunk History||Sacagawea||Episode: "Nashville"|
|2013||Maron||Herself||Episode: "Jen Moves to L.A."|
|2014–2015||Welcome to Sweden||Herself||6 episodes|
|2015||Golan the Insatiable||Dylan Beekler (voice)||6 episodes|
|2016||SpongeBob SquarePants||Nocturna (voice)||Episode: "Mall Girl Pearl"|
|2016||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Lady Aubrey / Herself||Episode: "Aubrey Plaza Wears a Velvet Off-the-Shoulder Gown With Flowers in Her Hair"|
|2016||RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars||Herself / Guest Judge||Episode: "Family That Drags Together"|
|2016||Drunk History||Aaron Burr||Episode: "Hamilton"|
|2016||HarmonQuest||Hawaiian Coffee||Episode: "Manoa Prison Hole"|
|2016–2020||Criminal Minds||Cat Adams||4 episodes|
|2017–2019||Legion||Amahl Farouk / Shadow King
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain (2018)
Nominated—Imagen Award for Best Actress—Television (2018)
|2017||Easy||Lindsay||Episode: "Package Thief"|
|2019||34th Independent Spirit Awards||Herself (host)||Television special|
|2019||Drunk History||Cleopatra||Episode: "Bad Blood"|
|2019–2020||Crank Yankers||Bernadette (voice)||2 episodes|
|2020||35th Independent Spirit Awards||Herself (host)||Television special|
|2020||Muppets Now||Herself||Episode: "Sleep Mode"|
|2020||Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine||Ashley||Television special|
|2021||Cinema Toast||Karen (voice)||Also Co-Exec Producer, Writer, and Director, Episode: "Quiet Illness"|
|2021||Duncanville||Nina (voice)||Episode: "Das Banana Boot"|
|TBA||Little Demon||Also producer|
|TBA||Olga Dies Dreaming||Olga Acevedo||Also producer
|2012||"Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings"||Father John Misty||Girl|
|2013||"Rouse Yourself"||JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound||Girl|
|2014||"Bona Fide"||Cassorla||Woman in Boat|
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actor Aubrey Plaza in 1984 (age 37)
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It's too early to say if Plaza's an actress since no one's asked her to do anything other than be the pretty slacker with the bored posture and world-weary intonation. But she has an unusual kind of beauty (Anglo-Irish, Latina) that the camera loves to explore, and when she does make the hyperspace jump to sincerity and initiative, the results are compelling.
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