Nick Offerman arrived at the Chesapeake Boathouse for the opening of the 12th annual deadCenter Film Festival just as the rainstorm hit the area Wednesday afternoon, but the “Parks and Recreation” star's view of Oklahoma City could not be dampened by the weather.
“I have become such a big fan of Oklahoma City,” said Offerman, who was introduced to the city by his wife, Megan Mullally.
Offerman will introduce his new film, “Somebody Out There Likes Me,” at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Harkins Theatres in Bricktown.
“I have been with Megan for 12 years and just in those 12 years I've seen a blossoming of culture in town, in the restaurant scene, in the theater scene, the stuff they're doing at Lyric,” he said. “This film festival feels like another part of that. It's thrilling that a film as interesting as ours would be celebrated in Oklahoma City.”
Rain forced organizers to set up an indoor screening at the Devon Boathouse for the opening film “Marley,” originally planned for an open-air debut along the Oklahoma River.
Offerman, who plays the meat-loving, anti-government civil servant Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation,” brought “Somebody Up There Likes Me” to the festival with the film's writer-director, Bob Byington, who wrote the part of Sal specifically for the actor. The film, which premiered at Austin's South By Southwest Film and Music Festival in March, covers 35 years in the friendship between Sal and Max, played by Keith Poulson of the indie rock band Bishop Allen.
“My character is especially concerned with his hedonism and a little bit of greed, and he has an eye for the ladies,” Offerman said. “It's funny and pithy without trying too hard and has a great sense of realism — the film requires a lot of thinking on the part of the audience, but there's also a lot of laughter.
“I feel like this film could be on the menu at Ludivine,” he said. “It's creative, it's whimsical and delicious.”
Offerman said he and Mullally frequently travel to Oklahoma City, and he has become a fan of restaurants such as Ludivine, the downtown restaurant known for creative dishes such as its roasted bone marrow.
Offerman said the bone marrow is exactly the kind of dish that is frequently recommended to him since the Ron Swanson character achieved a massive cult following.
“Good or bad for my circulatory system, it's gotten to where whenever I go to restaurants now and they recognize me, they immediately bring their highest cholesterol dish, put it in front of me and wait for me to inhale it,” he said, laughing.
“But I love that place.”
“Parks and Recreation” was recently picked by NBC for a full 22-episode season, and will begin shooting on Aug. 6. Offerman said there is already talk of bringing back Mullally, who attended Casady School and rose to fame on NBC's “Will and Grace,” for a guest appearance as Tammy Swanson, Ron's manipulative ex-wife.
“I heard a rumor of the story idea they had for her,” he said. “They're just now starting to come up with the stories for the fall, so we won't know what the details are for two or three more months.”
Offerman said he is impressed with the roster of films being shown at deadCenter this year, and that it reflects on the progress he has witnessed since he first visited the city.
“I love seeing that. We spend a lot of time here visiting Megan's mom, and nice to see there's so much fitting my taste in Oklahoma City.”