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Aubrey Plaza tries something new with 'The To Do List'

For “The To Do List,” the rare teen sex comedy written from a female perspective, writer-director Maggie Carey set it in 1993, the year she graduated high school. She penned the main character with actress Aubrey Plaza in mind.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: July 26, 2013

— When Aubrey Plaza first read the script for “The To Do List,” she was thrilled at the prospect of playing a lead role tailored for her in a frank, funny and perhaps even groundbreaking movie.

“I thought it was so funny and one of the funniest scripts I've ever read. And I wasn't thinking about what I would actually have to do in it until I had to do it. I didn't wrap my head around it until usually the day of,” Plaza admitted during a recent press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel, as she described some of the action that won't be repeated here.

“We didn't have much time, so a lot of the stuff I wasn't mentally prepared for. I just kind of did it.”

In that respect, Plaza, 29, has something in common with her character in “The To Do List,” a rare teen sex comedy written from the female perspective.

She plays strait-laced, straight-A student Brandy Klark, who is determined to lose her virginity after she spies hunky college guy Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) at a graduation party.

Applying her impeccable study skills to her deflowering, Brandy creates a to-do list of sexual milestones and sets out to check them off with any available guy.

Period setting

Best known for playing sardonic former intern April Ludgate on the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation,” Plaza got to know “The To Do List” writer-director Maggie Carey through the New York improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade.

In 2004, Carey cast Plaza in her Web series “The Jeannie Tate Show” as the delinquent teenage stepdaughter of the title character, who hosts a talk show in her minivan.

The part led to Plaza's first film role, in Judd Apatow's “Funny People.”

Carey then wrote “The To Do List,” based on her own coming of age in Boise, Idaho. She wrote it with Plaza as the leading lady.

The scribe set the bawdy story in 1993, her senior year in high school.

“I gave Aubrey my diary so she could sort of get into the perspective of what it's like to be a teenager in the old-fashioned days of 1993,” said Carey, the wife of Tulsa native and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Bill Hader.

“I do think the idea of all of these things that you have to check off on a list is still relevant, it's just the kids can now just Google it and find out right away whether or not they want to try one.”

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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