The tour de force that is Aubrey Plaza is as talented as they come. Her prowess as a comedian and actress has seen her work with some of the industry’s best. But the standout element of Plaza’s career has always stood out amongst everything else: her iconic awkwardness. No matter where she goes, Plaza always makes it interesting with her deadpan approach that always inspires a reaction.
Whether it be putting up Blair Witch symbols in the dressing rooms of cast members from The White Lotus or making Robert De Niro uncomfortable, Plaza marches to the beat of her own drum. While some question if it’s a facade or Plaza is simply like this, the actress has produced plenty of stories and moments regardless. Here are 15 times Aubrey Plaza was iconic.
— Joe Eckstein
Her Time As an NBC Page
During a March 2015 interview on Today, hosts Savannah Gutherie and Hoda Kotb revealed that Plaza once worked as a page for NBC. Rumors of being escorted from the program by security in a dramatic fashion and telling lies during tours were brought up to which Plaza denied, saying “everyone loved me.” For the latter accusation, Plaza simply replied “I like to lie. I get paid to lie. And it makes me happy.” – J.E.
Hosting the IFC Spirit Awards
Aubrey Plaza’s dry humor made for a bombastic choice in hosting of the 34th and 35th IFC Spirit Awards, as she was set in her task of redefining what it meant to host award shows, and made sure to hold nothing back. The actress criticized many of the celebrities in attendance as well as other notable awards shows like the Oscars, echoing the feelings of many within the fractured political landscape of the US and the entertainment industry at that time. – Caitlyn Taylor
Freaking Out Robert De Niro While Filming Bad Grandpa
No amount of method acting could prepare Robert De Niro for Plaza, because working on Dirty Grandpa, Plaza took a page out of De Niro’s career and went the method acting route. Plaza’s character, Lenore, had a goal — have sex with De Niro’s character, Dick Kelly. Her actions before and during scenes led to one of the actress’ agents letting her know that De Niro was “a little freaked out.” It also didn’t help that she tried to lick his nipples, something that the film’s director, Dan Mazer, told her to do (despite knowing the veteran actor wasn’t fond of that area receiving attention). – J.E.
Her Appearance on Hot Ones
Hot Ones gives viewers a more down to earth and fun view of their favorite celebrities within and outside the traditional entertainment industry, as guests must fight off the heat of a spicy wing challenge while being interviewed by the show’s host, Sean Evans. To no one’s surprise, this creates an opportunity to generate many memorable moments. Aubrey Plaza takes on the heat with an unflinching stare, and as an iconic way of battling against the spicy challenge, she pours milk through her nose. – C.T.
The Time She Took a Lie Detector Test
If there’d be someone to break Vanity Fair’s polygraph, it’d be Aubrey Plaza. Pairing up with Brian Tyree Henry for the magazine’s lie director test series, Plaza fielded questions on her experiences at an all-woman Catholic school and selling her soul to NBC, all the while making her Child’s Play co-star burst out laughing after nearly every response. It was revealed at the end of her questions that she lied throughout the test — and wasn’t caught. – J.E.
Reading Thirst Tweets
There are almost no celebrities who have not read thirst tweets, and Aubrey is no exception. In one of Buzzfeed Celeb’s many celebrity thirst tweet videos, Plaza powered through the reading and made no effort to hide her displeasure — as she continued her brutal commentary on the various tweets, her signature humor shone through, even while expressing her hatred for Simping culture. – C.T.
Answering the Web’s Most Searched Questions
Despite her hatred of the internet, Plaza and her fellow An Evening with Beverley Luff Lin star Craig Robinson took on Wired’s well-known Autocomplete Interview. The web’s most searched questions about Plaza included commonplace ones such as her dating status and if she has any siblings. The web was also curious about if she stayed friends with Parks and Recreation cast members Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler. While she said Pratt filed a joking restraining order against her, Plaza did say she’s a part of a mass text chain with members of the show that is regularly updated. – J.E.
Her Appearance on Celebrity Sluggers
Aubrey’s awkward confidence is shown in her appearance on Celebrity Sluggers, taking up the bat for charity for a mysterious prize. In between her shots at the prize, Aubrey discussed many things including how she uses baseball as a way of taking out her anger, her role in the new-to-Netflix Emily The Criminal, and an explosive call out towards Drake. – C.T.
Going Undercover on the Internet
Taking part in GQ’s Actually Me series, Plaza went undercover on a variety of social media platforms to directly answer questions from fans. While many were curious about her career, such as a Daria live-action movie and how she worked with Michael Caine, one YouTube comment raised the best question: Is Plaza playing a character, or is she like “this” all the time? Her response: You do a GQ Actually Me interview and try not to act like “this.” – J.E.
The Time She Smoked Pot With Nuns
Nuns smoking weed isn’t something that you’d see everyday, but to the Weed Nuns, this is a next step in redefining nuns in our modern world. Aubrey Plaza sat down alongside two of the iconic Weed Nuns in a video by Cut — in between sharing her personal experiences with weed as well as her childhood growing up Catholic, the Weed Nuns teach Plaza how to trim buds of weed. – C.T.
Her Parks and Recreation Speech
Think of what an typical award reception speech sounds like. Thoughts of thanks to family, directors, and God might come to mind. That would be the case if Plaza weren’t at the mic. Accepting an award for Parks and Recreation, Plaza’s speech thanks the devil on behalf of Amy Poehler, as well as all the dark lords that helped get her the award, as well as allowing Poehler “to feast on the flesh of the innocent.” At least Aaron Paul got a kick out of it. – J.E.
Her Experience With ASMR
While ASMR might not be for everyone, it certainly is for Aubrey Plaza. In a half-hour-long interview with W Magazine, Plaza discusses her career as well as her love for the niche genre of videos. Between using her voice, brushes, a stuffed kitty, peacock feathers, and even her own hair, Plaza gives viewers a unique ASMR experience, her way. – C.T
Her Appearance on The View
Aubrey embraced the Halloween spirit in her guest appearance on The View this October, following the release of her new children’s book The Return of the Christmas Witch. While discussing her love for the spooky holiday, Plaza fully embraced her vampyre-witch costume, sharing stories of transforming her house into a Halloween attraction for her neighborhood. Plaza also shared experiences from the set of popular show The White Lotus, and the chaotic energy from shooting a show on a volcanic island in her typical outlandish humor. – C.T.
The Time She Met Donald Trump While Dressed as a Mascot
In one of the strangest “When Worlds Collide” moments, Plaza came face-to-face with Donald Trump in 2007 when she working in New York. But Trump didn’t truly meet Plaza; he met Noddy the Elf, the children’s book character that Plaza was dressed as. Her boss wanted a picture with Trump, which Plaza said was a challenge, but she eventually achieved it. It’s unclear whether the $7/hr salary was worth all the trouble. – J.E.
Her Live-Action Daria Impression With College Humor
In a role that seems destined for her, Aubrey portrayed the iconic 90’s cartoon heroine Daria in a spoof live-action trailer for College Humor. In it, she portrays Daria Morgendorffer, icon, returning to her hometown for a high-school reunion. To this day, many Daria fans campaign for a movie or series based on the spoof trailer despite it being nearly a decade old. – C.T.