One Fan-Favorite Parks and Recreation Character Almost Never Existed

One Fan-Favorite Parks and Recreation Character Almost Never Existed
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Aubrey Plaza brought her iconic character of the apathetic college student and government intern 'April Ludgate' to life on Parks and Rec. Becoming not only a stand-out character but a fan favorite.

However, fans of the show may be surprised to learn not only was Aubrey nearly not cast, but April never existed in the original draft for the pilot season. Thankfully her place in the series was eventually realised, and it was all due to Plaza herself.

During a live panel with the cast and producers of the show, Michael Schur discussed how the part of April was written specifically for Plaza. Recounting the time they both first met, Schur remembers Plaza responding in a similar disinterested and dry manner to her character on the show to both himself and co-creator Greg Daniels.

Admitting to feeling a little intimidated but inspired by Plaza's unique nature, he immediately wrote a scene between the character of Leslie and a new character who would later become April.

Fortunately, NBC didn't have any issues with Plaza being cast at Schur's and Daniel's request, and the role for Plaza was created. Upon hearing Schur's account, Plaza amusingly responds on the panel by pretending she didn't remember the event at all.

Questions on how April's and Andy's relationship was first decided within the series were also raised. At first, Amy Poehler (who played Leslie Nope in the series) believed it was a moment during a season two episode which had begun the love story of the characters.

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However, Greg Daniels went on to correct her by revealing it was again in part down to Plaza herself for the idea of the two characters bonding. Plaza describes how when Andy and his band 'Mouse Rat' was first introduced in season one, none of the characters was meant to relate much to his music. Plaza felt her character would be the odd one who does and ad-libbed a line in the scene. Establishing the first hint at a close connection between April and Andy.

Chris Pratt, who played Andy Dwyer on the show, elaborated on the chemistry between the pair. He stated it was clear that little impressed April and confirmed Plaza was notorious for being a difficult actor to break while filming.

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Therefore, he put all his effort into making her smile during scenes together. Pratt considers their efforts together as what led to the great chemistry between the two characters. Which more naturally developed in those moments and ultimately led to the storyline where the two developed feelings for each other.

The character of April would go on to become a prominent part of the show. Starting as an uncaring college student, over the seasons she develops her relationship with Andy and forms close friendships with the others. She became one of the series' breakout characters. And it seems it was mainly due to Aubrey Plaza herself.