Be sure to catch the new episode of Parks and Recreation on NBC tonight, in which the debonair Ron Swanson reunites with his tyrannical ex-wife, Tammy. If it’s anything like their last encounter, prepare for Pawnee to be charred to a crisp by the resulting sexual napalm—and, of course, for huge laughs. In real life, Ron and Tammy are married actors Nick Offerman and two-time Emmy-winner Megan Mullally. We chatted with Nick and Megan this morning about their own PDA policies, Parks and Rec’s success, and what dream projects might lie in their future.
TV.com: How much nudity can we expect tonight on Parks and Recreation?
Nick Offerman: Full.
Megan Mullally: He says full, I say not as much as one might think. But pretty much everything else under the sun happens.
Nick: We’re not on Fox.
How do you guys feel about public displays of affection in your real life?
Megan: We’re very PDA, but I don’t think in a gross way. More in a mom and dad way. Nick’s very romantic, and brings that out in me. Friends often remark on how sweet we are.
Nick: We don’t use tongues in public.
What was your gut reaction to Cameron Diaz feeding A-Rod popcorn at the Super Bowl?
Megan: We missed that. We missed every frame of the Super Bowl, unfortunately.
Nick: Once Christina Aguilera dropped the verse of the national anthem, we went to the local library, and led a seminar for a group of local children on The Pledge of Allegiance, because we care about our nation’s moral fiber.
Back to Parks and Recreation. Nick, you and Aubrey Plaza mesh so well on the show. What’s it like playing off of each other?
Nick: Aubrey is fantastic. She and Chris Pratt are annoyingly talented, being so young. And Aubrey I really admire because she is a free-thinking little devil, and she has found great success in being herself. She’s probably been told a lot that, “You should perk up!”, but that cloud of doom always hanging over her, plus her personal relationship with Satan, give her a particular flavor that you can’t find anywhere else. And so we have a lot of fun working in silence, just sort of agreeing with our eyebrows furrowed.
Is the general sentiment behind the scenes now that Parks and Rec has just begun to hit its stride?
Nick: I think that the situation with us being borne of the world that the American Office had created produced a scenario in which we couldn’t help but be unfairly compared to The Office no matter what kind of show we tried to put up. I think if the audience goes back and watches our first six oft-maligned episodes, you’ll see that they’re actually really funny. Our creator Mike Schur likened it to reading the first 40 pages of a novel and saying, “This book was no good. They haven’t really developed the characters fully.” But I do feel like everybody figured out what our strengths were, so that pretty early on in Season 2 all the pistons were firing. I feel like we’ve had a fantastic streak where everything is working and we’re just having a really good time making shows now.
Megan, are you aware that there is a Facebook App that delivers Karen Walker quotes?
Megan: No! I wasn’t! That’s the first I’ve heard of it. I did not know that. That’s interesting. I’ll have to download that.
Do you miss that character?
Megan: Yeah. I loved Karen. When you a play a character like that that’s so beautifully written and so much fun to play for eight years... I get attached to my characters if they get a chance to take on lives in that way.
Megan: I’m getting there. I had a great time on Party Down, and we’re going to do a third season of Children’s Hospital. I learned quite a lot from doing those, and even Parks and Rec, where there’s more improvisation involved. On Will & Grace, the writing was such that you didn’t need improvisation. It was just a different kind of thing. But yeah, I am getting more ready. I just want to be careful to have it be the right kind of show, with people who I enjoy working with who have integrity. I’m excited.
Would the two of you want to keep working on something together?
Megan: We always love working together. We met doing a play years ago here in Los Angeles. We’ve done several things together over the years. We’d love to keep doing that.
You guys would be perfect for a Hart to Hart remake.
Nick: I’d vote for Moonlighting.
Megan: Moonlighting: The Later Years.