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We are all watching Aubrey Plaza and can’t take our eyes off her. I met Aubrey, a deeply versatile actor and producer, almost 15 years ago on Parks and Recreation, where she played the droll and mischievous intern April Ludgate. I knew two things immediately: I was working with a determined and profoundly talented woman with big plans, and I had met a dear friend for life.

Her work over the past decade has been acutely truthful and always surprising—whether conveying fear-based choices in Emily the Criminal, manic breakdowns in Black Bear, chilly secret keeping in The White Lotus, or whatever big and ballsy swing is up next in Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis.

Aubrey loves an outsider. She roots for the underdog. She befriends the misunderstood. She has learned the glorious freedom that comes from not wanting your approval. But don’t mistake that cool demeanor as ambivalence. She cares deeply about her craft and her friends and has become one of the most interesting actors working today. Plus, she speaks Spanish and can hit a fastball.

We are all watching Aubrey Plaza, but she is watching us. And she is on to you.

Poehler is a writer, producer, and Emmy-winning actor

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