Rashida Jones admits she may not always be right, but regardless, she’s got something to say.
The star of Parks and Recreation hits the big screen today with Celeste and Jesse Forever, telling the story of a young woman struggling to uncover love in a crop of handsome losers, while also not letting pride get the best of her relationships. Confesses the actress, it’s a tale she knows a little too well.
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR ‘CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER HERE
“I would like to think that I took my idiosyncrasies and magnified them to come up with somebody whose character flaws stand in her own way,” Jones explains to theGrio about the similarities between herself and her character in movie. “I don’t think I’m at the point where I’m paralyzed by my need for control and my need to be right, but there have been times in my life where that’s been true…It’s the old me. It’s the last me. I’m a new me.”
Jones’ film, opening in theaters today, pairs the actress with Andy Samberg in the account of a botched friendship-turned-marriage, a strong platonic bond that couldn’t sustain romance. Accordingly, both characters are forced to move on and try out new people, sending Jones on a series of odd and unfortunate dates, some of which, says the actress, are based on real-life encounters.
“You know who you are,” the 36-year-old jokes, commenting on a scene in the film where a photographer finds a little more pleasure in himself than her. “After I got over the initial trauma and shock of it happening to me, it was a good party story. And actually, the one time I ever did stand-up with Neal Brennan – in New York – we told terrible dating stories and I told that story. You gotta have your comeuppance, and the way I do that is to write it in a script.”
While it may seem surprising someone with the looks, talent and charisma of Jones would have any trouble finding a match, the actress has certainly had her fair share of failed partnerships. Reportedly single, she’s been linked to actor Tobey Maguire and Jon Favreau, speechwriter for President Obama, in the past, and was engaged to music producer Mark Ronson for a year before ending their relationship in 2003.
Incidentally, she wrote Celeste & Forever with another former boyfriend, actor Will McCormack, based on a composite of both writers’ former relationships. Though it could have been a big screen bashing, Jones says the project is more about moving forward, and finding the key to building a successful relationship.
“One of the things, thematically, in the movie, is not wanting to be right,” she points out. “Just communicating in a way with your partner where you guys don’t have to agree with each other, but you respect each others’ decisions and opinions enough to live and coexist in a respectful manner.”
The movie was made on a budget of $800,000 thanks to Jones and McCormack’s strong industry alliances, and marks a slightly more dramatic angle for the actress, who is known to most audiences for her comedic roles in shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation. Her entrée into Hollywood came with the VIP introduction from her father, record and television producer, and jazz icon Quincy Jones, who was out to support the film’s premiere on June 22 at the Los Angeles Film Festival.