Aziz Ansari, the stand-up comedian and actor who plays Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation,” seems like a guy you want to be friends with. He confirmed this suspicion when he answered questions Wednesday on Reddit.
(Read Jen Chaney’s “Parks and Rec” recaps here.)
The actor shared info on his favorite TV show (“Breaking Bad”), what he does besides performing (“EATING FOOD!!!!!”) and a whole lot more. Here are some of his best, and most surprising, responses.
On how growing up in South Carolina influenced his comedy:
“I had no frame of reference to understand how strange it was until I left and lived in places like NY, etc. I'm not sure how it shaped my humor. I definitely talk about biscuits more in my comedy because of it.”
On staying thin despite eating a lot of doughnuts:
“I have a high metabolism. I'll lose that soon and become a fat Indian man shortly.”
On actors of Asian and Indian descent being typecast and stereotyped in Hollywood:
“That’s on the actors themselves. I got offered those parts when I first started out and always turned them down and made it clear I wasn’t interested in playing ethnic stereotypes or characters whose comedy comes purely from having a ‘funny accent.’ ”
“Over the past few years, that stuff has been aggressively countered by actors like myself, [“The Office’s”] Mindy Kaling, [“Community’s”] Danny Pudi, etc. We are all playing characters who are funny for reasons that have nothing do with ethnic humor. Things have changed a lot. I couldn’t imagine growing up and seeing an Indian person on a sitcom, now EVERY sitcom has that token Indian person. Pretty cool.”
On getting a job with his (fictional “Parks and Rec”) company Entertainment 720:
“Write a three thousand word essay on the topic of what the phrase ‘Ballin’ Out of Control’ means to you and email it to Tom or Jean Ralphio.”
On his “Parks and Rec” co-stars’ real life personalities:
“There are definitely small elements of our real personalities in all the ‘Parks’ characters. Aubrey definitely has elements of April in her. Nick Offerman has elements of Ron (they both love woodworking for example) and I have elements of Tom (hopefully just non-[expletive] ones). The producers/writers are also really open to any ideas we may have for the characters too. I must say, I love all the ‘Parks’ actors tremendously, they are the best.”
And on Amy Poehler, who plays the eternal optimist Leslie Knope:
“She is the nicest, funniest, most talented person ever. For real. I feel incredibly lucky she’s at the head of the ‘Parks’ ship.”
Read the entire thread here.