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Aubrey Plaza As Icon of Generational Disillusionment

I like this idea from Colin Trevorrow, the director of Aubrey Plaza’s new movie Safety Not Guaranteed, about why the actress plays the kind of sweet-and-sour slacker she does both in that movie and on Parks and Recreation:

There’s a reason Aubrey Plaza keeps getting cast as interns — as eyerolling Pawnee Parks Department lackey April Ludgate on NBC’s Parks and Recreation and as the defeatist, toilet-scrubbing Seattle Magazine intern in the upcoming Safety Not Guaranteed, and in real life as well, in NBC’s famed page program. According to Safety director Colin Trevorrow, the 27-year-old actress is an everygirl, a face for the masses of underpaid, overeducated young workers of the world.

“Aubrey represents a whole generation of young women who are very disaffected,” Trevorrow said. “Not just women, a whole generation. And disaffected for a reason. They don’t see anything out there for them, and this is not a world for them, and they have every reason to want to go back to a time when everything was a little bit easier and there were more opportunities and they weren’t treated like shit as an intern somewhere.”

I know some folks have been disconcerted by April’s slow evolution on Parks and Recreation from someone who essentially hated everything, to someone who loved Andy, and is now exploring the possibility that she might like some thing or some idea enough to work for it enthusiastically. But I think that it would be a violation of the show’s core ethic if April stayed static and didn’t find an opportunity to succeed and enjoy it. If Ron Swanson can be shaken from his libertarianism by the sheer force of Leslie Knope’s enthusiasm, and if Leslie can win an election against stiff odds, April would inevitably be affected. There’s a really interesting story to be told about someone who is terrified of disappointment facing even a small opportunity. I hope now that April’s come up with an idea for Andy to move forward, she comes up with something she’s willing to try herself.

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