Aubrey Plaza pushes the sexual envelope in ‘The To-Do List’
For Aubrey Plaza, discussing her new film, “The To-Do List,” offers far too many opportunities for oversharing. The ’90s-set film follows Brandy (Plaza), a type-A brainiac determined to start college sexually experienced by way of a detailed — if unromantic — list of activities to check off. And Plaza is having trouble keeping her own list to herself.
Considering the sexual frankness of the film, how awkward have the interviews gotten?
People keep trying to trick me into telling them about my first sexual experiences, and then I almost am like, “Well, when I was … wait a minute! I don’t need to tell you that. That’s for my own brain to remember.” For some reason this movie kind of makes you think that it makes sense to ask about that. But no, nothing’s been awkward except for me because I’m always awkward in interviews.
Do you find it weird or insulting that Hollywood always acts so surprised when a female-focused comedy does well?
Yeah, I feel that. I don’t know why. There’s just as many women as there are guys, so you would think that it wouldn’t be shocking that there’s a female audience and that there’s people out there interested in seeing female-centric movies.
Do you think “The To-Do List” would work in a contemporary setting?
I think there could be a story about a girl going through her firsts, because I think that’s just a universal thing that happens, but I don’t think this story could be told in 2013 for many different reasons. This movie was set in a time when people didn’t Google everything and people weren’t figuring things out online, which I think is the case nowadays. Who knows what teenagers are doing these days. I don’t know. I mean, I’m 29 and I feel totally out of touch. Things have changed at such a rapid pace that who knows how people are learning anything or where they’re getting their information.
It’s great to see a movie taking the awkward teenage sexual experience, which is usually told as a guy’s story, and showing the girl’s side.
Being frank about sexual things? I know. That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to do the movie, because I’d never really read anything that truthfully explored that time in a girl’s life, just a really frank portrayal of a girl figuring out how to do really simple things — well, I don’t know if they’re simple. Just really basic sexual acts. I don’t know, everything I say sounds wrong. [Laughs] Just make me sound better and smarter.
If you want anything in particular reworded, just let me know.
I’ll leave that up to you. You’re the professional.