Is Ron Swanson the manliest character on TV right now? The affable curmudgeon of NBC’s Parks and Recreation loves eating things made out of meat, making things out of wood, and keeping a stiff upper lip beneath a well-cultivated moustache. And so does Nick Offerman, the man who plays him. The actor, writer, and carpenter (check out his website at offermanwoodshop.com) is arguably one of the funniest parts of a show with a cast that includes comedy dynamos like Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari (not to mention on-screen ex-wife and off-screen actual wife Megan Mullally), which is saying something. I got him on the line from the West Coast to talk a little (wood) shop and get a little weird.
I understand that you're something of a Luddite. I hope you're okay knowing that not only is this interview going to go on the Internet, but we might even tweet about it. Oh that's okay. I've had to re-up my Twitter situation because when I quit I had like 60,000 followers and then I noticed last month that it was up to 95,000 without me doing any tweeting. So I said, you know, I've got all these things to promote, I'd be stupid not to reach out to these 100,000 . . . well it's up to about 107,100 now. So I'm engaging, albeit reluctantly.
Oh really? How often a day do you tweet now? Oh, I'd say once or twice a week. I try to do enough . . . well, I'm actually due for an entertaining tweet. I try to lay out enough honey to keep people buzzing around, so that when I lay out my fly paper they'll buy tickets to my show or what have you. That was not the most gracefully embroidered analogy. (Laughs.)
Parks and Recreationhas a pretty amazing cast. Is it hard to keep a straight face on set? You know, for a lot of it we sort of get in the zone, and that's what we do, we're pros. But when any one of us on the cast sort of gets into their home-run zone, you see people sort of turning their heads away because everybody has their wheelhouse. So when you see Amy [Poehler] or Chris Pratt getting served up a nice slow lob everybody kind of runs for the hills, because you know they're about to just destroy the planet.
Anyone in particular really get you? Absolutely. Amy is like an entire army of one. She just has so many crazy channels and comedy weapons. Quite frequently I'm in the position where she's supposed to be getting under my skin, so she'll try milk, and if that doesn't work she'll try vinegar and if that doesn't work she'll pull out a blow torch and then she'll break out a baseball bat.