When I interviewed Adam Scott for a feature for New York Magazine in August, I asked him about working with Amy Poehler not just on Parks and Recreation as Leslie Knope's boyfriend Ben, but on the movie A.C.O.D. (out next year; she plays his stepmother and nemesis). He said, quite sincerely, “I just love, love working with her so much that if I could, I would love to work with her on every single thing.” When I called Poehler to talk about Scott, however, I got a far more complicated response. Here are Poehler’s six weirdest (and not particularly true) observations of her co-star. And one bonus one from Jon Hamm.
• I told Poehler that Scott had asked me to come see his storage unit (under the auspices of looking for a note Martin Scorsese had given him ten years prior). “He’s been known to do that,” said Poehler, “He says, ‘Hey, I’ve got a really cool storage unit. I gotta really big storage unit that I want you to see,’ and I go, ‘Okay,’ and then he just drags me around the corner and pulls his pants down. It’s his weird way of introducing himself to people.”
• Often he just forgoes the storage-unit ruse. “There’s a lot of things people don’t know about Adam. He loves taking off his pants,” says Poehler. “Just takes them down all the time. Literally, he cannot keep his pants on. Like, we’ll be doing a scene and we’ll look down and Adam won’t have any pants on, and we’ll be like, ‘Adam! We’re in Senator Boxer’s office! Put your pants back on!’ And he’s like, ‘Oh.’”
• He is a dangerous drunk. “He maintains. He doesn’t get sloppy. So just know that if he does kill you and put you in that storage unit, no one will ever find you. He’s really, really precise and he knows how to cover tracks.”
• He fancies himself a true thespian. “He loves to talk about acting,” she says. “And he’ll just, in the middle of the scene, stop and say, ‘Wait a minute, I need to get back to the craft.’ And I’ll say, ‘Okay man, whatever you need.’ And he’ll just, like, pace around a room or he’ll go punch a wall. You know, a lot of people don’t know that he used to be an acting teacher. He taught in his basement for, like, fifteen years before he made it in Hollywood — or ‘Holly Weird’, as he likes to call it. And man, he just loves to talk about craft, process. Every morning, you’ll be, like, ‘Hey, Adam!’ And he’ll be like, ‘No, no, no.’ I’ll be, like, ‘Oh, sorry. Hey, Ben.’”
• He is a complicated acting partner. “Adam has this technique which is really cool,” she says, “which is when the camera’s on me and I’m talking to him, he turns around and makes me deliver the lines to the back of his head. And also when I do it, he shakes his head no. It’s a challenge because it makes me be like, ‘Right, right, I guess I’m not really delivering.’ It’s those little things that for some people make him seem like a total just terrible person to work with. But for me it’s a challenge."
• And now, a quick interjected revelation from Jon Hamm, who also had something to say about his friend Scott. “He’s bipenal, six toes on his right foot. That’s kind of creepy, but it makes him an excellent swimmer. He tends to swim in circles to the left. He has an overpowering kick with his right foot. But the weird thing is that his two penises act like a rudder and he can steer with those.”
• But really, folks, Amy Poehler loves Adam Scott. “I feel confident that Adam can handle my jokes. But I’ll give you a genuine quote. Adam is such a rare combination of a tremendously real actor and a very facile, comedic performer,” she says. “So he can go really fun and funny and big, and likes to be really stupid, but in the real moments in between those moments, which I feel proud of that we have on our show, he’s just really such a good actor ... He is really generous and kind and like a real pro.” She pauses. “And by 'pro' I mean prostitute. But he’s such a wonderful, kind, and funny male prostitute. It’s rare. It’s rare … I mean, I don’t know where it started, and I really hope it ends kind of soon, because it’s really getting in the way of our call times and everything. But whatever, man. He’s from Santa Cruz. They’re freethinkers over there.”