Aubrey Plaza’s Social Awkwardness Aided Her Career

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza’s awkwardness has its own notoriety. So much so that the renowned actress has been dubbed “the queen of cringe humor.” And it isn’t something that happened out of nowhere. “Thank you,” she would say when informed, “I don’t know many people from Delaware.” When she was introduced during a concert, she would just answer, “yup!” Furthermore, during an interview, she would warn people that something horrible was about to happen and then sip water from the host’s cup.

Plaza’s discomfort is seen in all of her wacky hobbies, bad English, deadpan voice, and mocking grin. Not to mention her large eyes, which are often darting about, revealing hints of sarcasm. Plaza’s awkward youthful enthusiasm, which pervades her attitude even when she attempts to be serious, has surely captured the attention of millions of admirers. But before it all began, she piqued the interest of film makers.

Aubrey Plaza’s Awkwardness Aided Her Career

Plaza rose to stardom in 2014 as April Ludgate, a misanthropic intern on the mockumentary drama Parks and Recreation. Her character — dry, bizarre, and bitterly sardonic — mirrored her real-life temperament for a purpose. Michael Schur, the show’s co-creator, had created the role just for her.

Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza

He met Plaza when a casting director informed him she had met “the strangest girl I’d ever met in my life.” She was also stating the truth. In 2011, Schur told the AV Club, “Aubrey came over to my office and made me feel pretty uncomfortable for like an hour.” He went on to say that the unpleasant circumstance made him want to bring her on the program right away. Parks and Recreation aired for seven seasons until 2015, when it was interrupted by a special episode set during the pandemic in 2020.

Aubrey Plaza Blames Her Irish ancestry for Her Awkwardness

During an appearance on Conan in 2016, Plaza discussed the possible root of her uneasiness. She spoke about the shooting of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and said that she wasn’t ready to perform a musical in the film. She had never sung and danced at the same time, in her own words. However, she was compelled to enroll in a singing class and train with a choreographer for the project. “That was strange because, you know, I’ve never been compelled to record a song and dance before,” she joked.


Plaza went on to say that she didn’t know what to do with her hands while dancing. When she questioned the choreographer, she was told, “Have you ever danced before?” Plaza added that she was reminded of competing in Irish dance contests as a child and performing Riverdance at the time.

Riverdance is a dance in which your “legs go straight out and your arms just remain at yourself,” according to Conan O’Brien, the show’s presenter. And that incident, she admits, made her understand she was uncomfortable, most likely due to her Irish heritage. “I was educated at an early age not to express myself,” she said. Plaza’s mother’s family is Irish, while her father’s side is Puerto Rican.