Rashida Jones is one busy actress, effortlessly moving from hit TV show, Parks and Rec, to critically lauded and highly anticipated films such as Our Idiot Brother -- out in theaters August 26.
Jones recently sat down to dish Our Idiot Brother, the darling of 2011’s Sundance Film Festival. The comedy is about siblings and specifically the titular character portrayed with hysterical panache by Paul Rudd.
The actress, daughter of music titan Quincy Jones, reported playing Rudd's friend Cindy in the ensemble film was one of the most delightful experiences of her career. Starring opposite not only Rudd, but also Elizabeth Banks, fellow Parks and Rec star Adam Scott, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Kathryn Hahn and T.J. Miller further inspired her to new acting heights. Having an actors' director in Jesse Peretz was also another reason she leapt at the chance to star in Our Idiot Brother.
Movie Fanatic: What was it about Jesse that you wanted to work on a film of his?
Rashida Jones: I’ve got to give him props because none of us are shy in the cast. There were days on set where all of us were there, which is incredibly difficult to deal with. Because Jesse is gregarious and patient and fatherly, I think he managed that very well. It was a zoo, a (expletive) zoo.
Movie Fanatic: You’ve worked with a lot of the cast before. Does that allow for a smoother set than working with strangers?
Rashida Jones: I’m always happy to work with the same people, especially if they’re rad, talented and fun to work with. I work with Adam Scott. He’s OK [laughs]. I’ve worked with Paul before, Banks and I have never worked together. I’ve met with Emily and T.J., but never worked with them. My point being, there is something utopian about being able to return to the same posse over and over again. For me, that is the biggest gift I’ve had in my career is to be able to work with the same people. This movie was no different, especially because we were shooting an independent film. Time is of the essence and also built-in chemistry is of the essence, and built-in professionalism. There was a nice coming together of it.
Movie Fanatic: What was your impression of your character Cindy and how is her take different than the cast of siblings in Our Idiot Brother?
Rashida Jones: I definitely feel like the siblings are enough like you that you love them and not enough like you that you can kind of hate them. They can drive you crazy and they can put a mirror up to the parts of you that you don’t like about yourself. And I think from the outside -- it happens all the time -- somebody will be like, “I love your mom. She’s amazing!” And you’re like, “Yeah, but she’s my mom” or “He’s my brother, she’s my sister.” But I think that Cindy just like really digs Ned (Rudd) and thinks that he’s a good dude. I feel like they think the same things are funny, which are actually probably not that funny. And I do think she’s got that outside perspective. I think that’s probably true most times when you’re dating somebody and you think their family’s great. But that’s because they haven’t annoyed you for your entire life, you know [laughs]? I think also that was a nice part of the movie was to see how the peripheral characters interacted with the siblings and what their take was on the sibling dynamics.
Movie Fanatic: There’s definitely a hippie vibe to Paul’s character and to yours as well to some extent. How did your costume contribute to that feel for you personally? Especially those glasses!
Rashida Jones: The glasses literally helped because they had my prescription in them [laughs]. I think her look was more like preppy, like edge of irony, but not fully in irony. It was a definite hipster Urkel. I also loved my clothes. I kept a lot of my stuff.