The Hot Seat: Rashida Jones

Parks and Recreation's cutest cast member on Monogamy, The Muppets and making out with Rob Lowe.

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Illustration: Dan Park


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In your upcoming movie Monogamy, you sing and play guitar. How long have you played?
I'm a shitty guitar player. I've managed to wrangle enough picking to make it look like it was good. But I've been singing kind of my whole life here and there—in choir and a cappella groups—and it's something that I love to do. But I have a deep respect-slash-fear of being a professional musician because I have a very talented musician in my family who happens to be my father [Quincy Jones].

Right, you led an a cappella group at Harvard. Is it as incredibly competitive there as it's portrayed in The Social Network?
Yeah, I remember senior year I had a problem set due, and I asked my boyfriend's roommate if I could borrow his notes because I had missed class or something. He just lied and said that he didn't take any notes. Then I was like, Oh, right, I go to Harvard, and people are like that. Duh. [Laughs]

Monogamy was filmed in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Navy Yard and other areas of Brooklyn. Did you have any favorite places in the borough?
I lived in Manhattan for a long time and I slowly lost a lot of friends to Brooklyn. [Laughs] So I've been forced to go there, and now I kind of love it. This is so random, but I was filming there this summer and there was a Middle Eastern, cheap place in Williamsburg that had, like, the best falafel I've ever had. It's right off the L. It's like $4.50, and it's so good.

You created the comic-book series Frenemy of the State. Do comic-book geeks ever corner you?
[Laughs] I did a signing at Meltdown here in L.A., and I met some nice comic-book fans. I never got cornered. I don't think that comic-book fans do cornering that well. They were, like, effusive and sweet.

Can we look forward to seeing you on The Office again? You made an appearance earlier this season.
That's probably it. I don't know. It was a total surprise to me when they called me to do that. I was delighted, but shocked. I mean, that was like a flashback. But who knows? As long as everybody's open to it. It's nice because nobody seems to really talk about any crossover of Ann and Karen, and that makes me really happy. Because I'm such a method actor...and all my parts are so different that people totally didn't realize I was on two shows in a row. That's actually why I cut my hair after the office. I was like, Let me try something to distinguish myself.

How was your experience working on The Muppets?
It was really, really fucked up in, like, a really good way. I kind of understand now why people freak out when they see celebrities that they love, because that's how I feel about every single Muppet. My child brain was so confused by the whole thing. I oftentimes would speak to Kermit and almost forget [Steve Whitmire, who voices Kermit] was even there.

Do you have a romantic scene with Kermit?
No. Listen, it's Kermit and Piggy forever, you know what I mean? I'm not getting anywhere near that. He's cute—I mean, he definitely flirted with me—but no. Kermit and Piggy forever.

Speaking of romance, on Parks and Recreation, your character dated Rob Lowe's character. So what's it like making out with a Brat Packer?
Luckily, Rob Lowe is everything that you'd want him to be, i.e., he's super hot in person and funny and warm. I think I had to make out with him on the [his] first day of work, and it was also his birthday. Shoot, it was like my birthday. He's lovely, he's so sweet and it doesn't hurt at all that I have fantasized about him for my whole life basically.

Did you have a favorite Lowe scene?
Well, often with women—this is what you don't know about women—we discuss the hot scenes in movies. And the scene in The Outsiders, when he gets out of the shower? Forget it. Forget it. All-time. He's, to me, probably the cutest guy that ever lived. I feel like no guy was holding it down like Rob Lowe was holding it down in the '80s—and still is now.

Monogamy opens Fri 11. The Muppets will be released in November.

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