Aubrey Plaza Says She’s Misunderstood a Lot Because of April Ludgate

Aubrey Plaza has built up quite an impressive resume in the last decade or so. The actor is set to star in The White Lotus Season 2 and has filmed a new Hulu pilot, Olga Dies Dreaming. She has also been in her fair share of films like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Happiest Season. But despite her many projects, Plaza is still best known for her work on Parks and Recreation, where she portrayed the memorable, April Ludgate.

Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate on the set of 'Parks and Recreation'
Aubrey Plaza | Danny Feld/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

April Ludgate was written for Aubrey Plaza

April was truly a great addition to Parks and Recreation. Though many of her lines were deadpanned, Plaza brought a lot of nuance to the character. April’s generally apathetic approach to life and her job was often juxtaposed with her kind heart and intelligence. The character of April was initially written completely differently. However, after the creators met Plaza they rewrote the character to match more closely with her unique personality.

‘The White Lotus’ actor reveals people sometimes see her ‘Parks and Recreation’ character instead of her

Though Plaza shares some similarities with April (they’re both half Puerto-Rican), they are far from one and the same. Still, the Ingrid Goes West star admits that sometimes people see her as her characters, rather than herself. Since April remains her most well-known role, sometimes people assume she’s operating as April would.

RELATED: Aubrey Plaza Cast a Moon Spell on a Group of Famous Women

“People project my characters onto me and it’s just the tone of my voice or the rhythm of how I speak that sounds like I’m being a jerk or something,” Plaza shared with Cosmopolitan. “I also think a lot of times people will try to out-weird me before I even say anything and I just want to be like, ‘Whoa, you’re coming in hot.'”

Plaza gets candid about not being taken seriously

Of course, people don’t just misunderstand Plaza because of her character. She admits that her cadence and the way she communicates often lead to snafus. She admits that people often assume that she’s joking around. In reality, though, she’s just being truthful.

“I’m more often misunderstood in my everyday interactions, which still continues to make me laugh,” Plaza explained. “Like all my text messages are getting misconstrued—I think people think that I’m never serious, but a lot of times I’m just saying what I actually think. I’ve heard more than once that I’m intimidating, that I’m on the offensive all the time, but I’m not. I’ve said things to certain people here on-set where they clearly thought I was f****** with them.”

The comedian’s friends thought she was joking when she told them about her stroke

Even when Plaza is talking about things that are extremely somber, sometimes she’s often mistaken for being playful. In an interview with NPR, the comedian revealed that people even thought she was messing with them when she informed them that she had a stroke at age 20.

“My two friends that were with me at the room at the time thought I was doing a bit with them,” Plaza shared. “And they kept saying ‘stop it,’ like they thought I was joking or something.”

Clearly, Plaza has struggled with people understanding her authentically. However, the actor seems to be taking it all in stride.

RELATED: Aubrey Plaza Couldn’t Stop Thinking About ‘The Office’ During Her ‘Parks and Rec’ Audition