Aubrey Plaza

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Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Plaza at the 2019 WonderCon
Aubrey Christina Plaza

(1984-06-26) June 26, 1984 (age 36)
Alma materNew York University
  • Actress
  • comedian
  • producer
Years active2006–present
Partner(s)Jeff Baena (2011–present)

Aubrey Christina Plaza[1] (born June 26, 1984)[2] is an American actress, comedian, and producer. She began her career performing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She received further recognition for her starring role as April Ludgate on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009–2015), and as Amahl Farouk / Shadow King and Lenny Busker in the FX drama series Legion (2017–2019).

After several supporting roles in various films, Plaza had her first leading role as Darius Britt in the comedy Safety Not Guaranteed (2012). She also starred in the films Mystery Team (2009), Funny People (2009), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), 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) and Child's Play (2019).

Early life and education[edit]

Plaza was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to Bernadette, an attorney, and David Plaza, a financial advisor.[3] She has two younger sisters, Renee and Natalie.[4]

Plaza was named after the song "Aubrey" by Bread.[4] Her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is of European-American descent. She has stated that she has Taíno ancestry.[5][6] 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."[7] Plaza is Catholic.[8]

Plaza 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.[9][10] She studied film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2006.[4]

Plaza suffered a stroke when she was 20 years old that caused temporary paralysis and expressive aphasia. Some years later, she had a smaller stroke called a transient ischemic attack while on the set of Parks and Recreation. [4][11][12]


2006–2015: Beginnings and Parks and Recreation[edit]

Plaza at the 2009 premiere party of Parks and Recreation

Plaza has had many internships, and worked as an NBC page.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

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, and Gary Thompson of The Philadelphia Inquirer questioned whether this role was out of her usual "pretty slacker" range but found her performance "compelling".[17]

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.[18]

At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, Plaza's film, Life After Beth, which was written and directed by her boyfriend Jeff Baena, premiered.[19] Plaza also voiced Grumpy Cat in the Lifetime Network's original movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014).[20]

2016–present: Legion and further film roles[edit]

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.

In 2016, she was a guest star on HarmonQuest, as a gnome named "Hawaiian Coffee" and portrayed Aaron Burr in the "Hamilton" episode of Drunk History.[21]

She also had the only speaking line in a commercial for the Apple iPhone 6s, demonstrating "I'm peeking my flight. I'm not peeking my flight. I'm peeking my . . . wait, I missed my flight."[22]

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.

In 2017, Plaza both starred in and produced two films, The Little Hours and Ingrid Goes West. It was announced that she would star in indie comedy An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn in 2018.[23]

Plaza starred as both Amahl Farouk / Shadow King and Lenny Busker in the FX series Legion from 2017 to 2019.[24] On February 23, 2019, Plaza hosted the 34th Independent Spirit Awards.[25]

In 2019, she starred in Child's Play, a reboot of the 1988 film, as Karen Barclay, Andy's mother who brings home a killer doll, Chucky.[26]

In February 2020, Plaza starred alongside Bill Murray in a short parody of Robert Eggers' The Lighthouse in order to promote the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards.[27]

Plaza is set to produce and star in the Netflix comedy film Hope.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Plaza dated actor John Gallagher Jr. when they were both 15 years old.[29] In 2016, Plaza said that she used to be in a relationship with actor Michael Cera.[30] Plaza has been in a long-term relationship with writer and director Jeff Baena since 2011. They live together in Los Angeles, California, and work together often.[31][32]

In 2016, Plaza mentioned in an interview to The Advocate that: "I know I have an androgynous thing going on, and there’s something masculine about my energy. 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."[33]



Year Title Role Notes Refs
2006 Killswitch Girl with Head Wound Short film
In Love Julie Short film
2009 Mystery Team Kelly Peters
Funny People Daisy Danby
2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Julie Powers
2011 Damsels in Distress Debbie
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You Jeanine Breemer
10 Years Olivia
2012 Safety Not Guaranteed Darius Britt
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III Marnie [34]
2013 From Up on Poppy Hill Sachiko Hirokouji English dub
She Said, She Said Woman in Park Short film
Failure Woman Short film
The End of Love Aubrey
The To Do List Brandy Klark
Charlie Countryman Ashley
Monsters University Claire Wheeler (voice) [35]
Center Jenny Monika Nark
2014 Life After Beth Beth Slocum [36]
About Alex Sarah [37]
Ned Rifle Susan [38]
Playing It Cool Mallory [39]
Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever Grumpy Cat (voice)
2015 Addicted to Fresno Kelly
The Driftless Area Jean
2016 Dirty Grandpa Lenore
Joshy Jen
The Pistol Shrimps Herself Documentary
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Tatiana
2017 Take My Nose... Please! Herself Documentary
The Little Hours Fernanda Also producer [40]
Ingrid Goes West Ingrid Thorburn Also producer
2018 An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn Lulu Danger
2019 Child's Play Karen Barclay [41]
2020 Black Bear Allison Also producer [42]
Happiest Season Riley Post-production [43]
King Knight Pine Cone (voice) Post-production
TBA Best Sellers TBA Post-production [44]
The Ark and the Aardvark Brain (voice) Post-production [45]


Year Title Role Notes
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
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"
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
Castle Lucy (voice) Uncredited
4 episodes
2016 SpongeBob SquarePants Nocturna (voice) Episode: "Mall Girl Pearl"
Comedy Bang! Bang! Lady Aubrey / Herself Episode: "Aubrey Plaza Wears a Velvet Off-the-Shoulder Gown With Flowers in Her Hair"
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Herself / Guest Judge Episode: "Family That Drags Together"
Drunk History Aaron Burr Episode: "Hamilton"
HarmonQuest Hawaiian Coffee Episode: "Manoa Prison Hole"
2016–2020 Criminal Minds Cat Adams 4 episodes
2017–2019 Legion Amahl Farouk / Shadow King
Lenny Busker
27 episodes
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
Drunk History Cleopatra Episode: "Bad Blood"
2019–2020 Crank Yankers Bernadette (voice) 2 episodes
2020 35th Independent Spirit Awards Herself (host) Television special
Muppets Now Herself Episode: "Sleep Mode"

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role Notes
2012 "Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings" Father John Misty[46] Girl
2013 "Rouse Yourself" JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound[47] Girl
2014 "Bona Fide" Cassorla[16] Woman in Boat


  1. ^ Plaza, Aubrey (March 1, 2012). "Aubrey Plaza Finally Confronts Her Multiple Personalities". Bullett Magazine. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Olsen, Mark (August 3, 2009). "Aubrey Plaza: Funny person". Los Angeles Times. – interview lists her as 25
  3. ^ Cormier, Ryan (January 15, 2010). "From Wilmy to Hollywood". Delaware Online. The News Journal.
  4. ^ a b c d Micklos, John, Jr. (February 15, 2012). "Aubrey Plaza of NBC's Parks and Recreation: Wilmington Native Is Building a Buzz in Hollywood". Delaware Today.
  5. ^ "HAPPY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY I protested this statue in highschool and finally it has been removed (almost). Let's celebrate Indigenous…". Instagram. October 12, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  6. ^ Hernández, Lee (June 11, 2009). "This girl's no slouch". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  7. ^ Herrera, Monica (April 9, 2009). "Parks & Recreation star Aubrey Plaza explains why she's so hot right now". Latina.
  8. ^ Keller, Joel (November 24, 2014). "Aubrey Plaza on Being Grumpy Cat and Saying Goodbye to 'Parks and Recreation'". Parade. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Aubrey Plaza of NBC's Parks and Recreation: Wilmington Native Is Building a Buzz in Hollywood". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  10. ^ Byrne, Mark; Cole, Todd (July 24, 2013). "The GQ Interview: Aubrey Plaza". GQ. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  11. ^ Letterman, David (August 31, 2011), interview – "Late Show with David Letterman"
  12. ^ Nealon, Kevin (April 4, 2019). Aubrey Plaza was clocked in a fist fight! (Videotape). Event occurs at 12 minutes 19 seconds. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "Aubrey Plaza on the Job That Really Didn't Work Out". Elle. November 30, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  14. ^ "Terrible Decisions with Ben Schwartz from Eric Appel, Ben Schwartz, and Aubrey Plaza". September 27, 2009. Archived from the original on January 1, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "Troopers Videos on Collegehumor". CollegeHumor. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Watch Aubrey Plaza rip sax solos in Cassorla's 'Bona Fide' video". August Brown, The Baltimore Sun, January 7th, 2014. Retrieved February 27th, 2018.
  17. ^ Thompson, Gary (June 15, 2012). "Aubrey Plaza shines in 'Safety Not Guaranteed'". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 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.
  18. ^ "Drunk History – Lewis and Clark", Comedy Central, August 14, 2013, retrieved June 19, 2019
  19. ^ "You'll Never Guess Aubrey Plaza's Kinky On-Set Ritual!". In the Mixx. October 17, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Blake, Emily (September 17, 2014). "Aubrey Plaza will be the voice of Grumpy Cat in Lifetime movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  21. ^ "Alia Shawkat and Aubrey Plaza Are Drunk History's New Hamilton and Burr". Vulture. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  22. ^ Nudd, Tim (February 18, 2016). "Aubrey Plaza Quietly Fails to Save the Free World in This New iPhone Commercial It was asking a lot". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  23. ^ McNary, Dave (February 8, 2017). "Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch to Star in Indie Comedy 'An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn'". Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  24. ^ Swift, Andy (February 4, 2016). "Legion: Dan Stevens to Play Charles Xavier's Son; Aubrey Plaza Also Cast". TVLine. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  25. ^ "Aubrey Plaza to Host 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  26. ^ Shoemaker, Allison. "Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry join Child's Play reboot". News. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Watch Bill Murray and Aubrey Plaza uncannily parody 'The Lighthouse'". NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM. February 4, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  28. ^ "Jackie Van Beek and Madeleine Sami to Direct Aubrey Plaza in Feature Comedy "Hope" for Netflix". Netflix Media Center. August 15, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  29. ^ Martin, Denise (July 22, 2012). "John Gallagher Jr. on Pratfalls and dating Aubrey Plaza". Vulture.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Spencer, Amy (February 8, 2017). "Aubrey Plaza like you've never seen her before". New York Post. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  32. ^ Russell, Anna (June 26, 2017). "Jeff Baena and Aubrey Plaza's Medieval Adventure". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  33. ^ "The A-List Interview: Aubrey Plaza". The Advocate. July 7, 2016.
  34. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 5, 2011). "Aubrey Plaza joins cast of 'Charlie Swan'". Variety.
  35. ^ Gallagher, Brian (April 15, 2013). "Monsters University Fraternity and Sorority Gallery".
  36. ^ McNary, Dave; Setoodeth, Ramin (January 24, 2014). "Sundance: Aubrey Plaza's 'Life After Beth' Picked Up by A24, DirecTV". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  37. ^ Highfill, Samantha (April 15, 2014). "Tribeca: Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield bond in 'About Alex'". Entertainment Weekly. Inside Movies (blog). Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  38. ^ McNary, Dave (March 13, 2014). "Aubrey Plaza Joins Hal Hartley's 'Ned Rifle'". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  39. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 2, 2012). "Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza eye 'Splintered Thing'". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  40. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (April 26, 2016). "Jeff Baena's 'The Little Hours' Acquired By Concourse; Alison Brie, Dave Franco Star – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  41. ^ "Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry join 'Child's Play' reboot". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  42. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 29, 2019). "Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott & Sarah Gadon To Star In 'Black Bear' Thriller From Lawrence Michael Levine". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  43. ^ Galuppo, Mia (January 22, 2020). "Mary Steenburgen, Dan Levy Join Kristen Stewart in Gay Rom-Com 'Happiest Season'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  44. ^ Aubrey Plaza Joins Michael Caine In ‘Best Sellers’
  45. ^ McNary, Dave (September 14, 2017). "Aubrey Plaza, Jenny Slate Join Miles Teller's 'Ark and the Aardvark' Animated Movie". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  46. ^ Father John Misty (January 26, 2012). "Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings [OFFICIAL VIDEO]". Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  47. ^ JCBrooksVEVO (June 21, 2013). "Rouse Yourself". JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. Retrieved March 7, 2015.

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