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Adam Scott on His Fantasy Career, Crying on Command, and His Catchphrase

Adam Scott still insists that he isn’t famous. But with Parks and Recreation picking up mid-season, a role in the upcoming comedy My Idiot Brother (opposite Paul Rudd), and a third season of Party Down still in limbo (fingers crossed!), his alleged anonymity is surely (and justly) coming to an end. We spoke to Scott after he wrapped up filming the first half of Parks and Rec’s third season, and he told us, via a round of quick questioning, about his love of Jane Lynch, choosing a fake penis, and the one genre he’ll never try.

Hi, Adam. What were the first words out of your mouth today?
First words out of my mouth today were probably “Jesus Christ,” because it was so early.

What one thing makes you happiest?
My kids. I know that’s a gooey answer, but what can I say.

Well, I guess at the moment, maybe BP? That’s also kind of a boring answer. Let’s see. BP or, uh, a terrible pair of pants. Hate ‘em!

What’s your hobby?
I don’t have hobbies anymore. I always tried to get a hobby. I tried, like, model airplanes when I was a little kid. I tried sports. I tried all kinds of things and the only thing I was ever good at and excelled at above all the other kids was watching television. So now I’ve just stopped being ashamed of it and I just love sitting around and watching TV. Really good at it.

What’s your favorite show?
Right now it’s Breaking Bad. That show is fucking crazy! So good. And, you know, Parks and Rec and Party Down. I love those shows. I’m so lucky to be anywhere near them.

Fight scene with Amy Poehler or sex scene with Lizzy Caplan?
Oh! Boy, um, I would try and do them both in one scene. Do you think we could pull that off?

Well … sure. What’s one genre you’ll never try?
Probably one of those romantic movies on the Hallmark channel. I see them at the mall, like the posters for them. Who’s that country singer? LeAnn Rimes. It’s always like a guy and her. Jerry O’Connell did one of them and he told me that in every scene they tried to get him to take his shirt off. Like, it was a dinner scene at night and they’re like, “You should probably have your shirt off for this scene.” First of all, I think that would be an unpleasant experience for the viewers. But then also, I would hate it.

There’s a video circulating that’s a spoof of the Apple commercials, flaunting a two-year contract with Jane Lynch. Would you rather have the new iPhone or a contract with Jane?
I’d do anything with Jane Lynch! Fuck the iPhone. I wanna hang out with Jane Lynch. I love Jane Lynch.

Slacker co-workers or overly enthusiastic co-workers?
Oh, slacker co-workers. Gimme the slackers. I can’t deal with overly enthusiastic ones. Plus then that would be like being on Glee. But actually I would do that just to be with Jane Lynch because I love her.

If you could be flamed out of any career, what would it be?
A private detective. A washed-up private detective. They’re kinda cool and then they always end up solving the case … this is a … what a terrible answer!

Do you want a second try?
Okay, I would want to be a washed-up boy-band member. Because it always ends well for those guys.

What’s the most important lesson you learned on Tell Me You Love Me?
Always pick the biggest fake penis if it’s gonna be yours.

What’s your favorite thing that Ken Marino’s ever said on set?
He said, “Go look in your trailer.”

What was in there?
He had defecated in the toilet in my trailer.

Maybe that’s the least favorite thing Ken Marino ever said to me on set. It was horrible.

What’s your favorite thing Nick Offerman ever said on set?
“Welcome to the show.” He was really nice. I mean, I kinda knew most of the people on the show, but I knew Nick the most because Megan [Mullally, Offerman’s wife] was on Party Down. So I came over to Parks and Rec and he was so sweet. He would come by my trailer and just chat. He was very hospitable.

If you had a catchphrase, what would it be?
“Just keep livin’.”

That’s the catchphrase you would want to be recognized for?
I would take it from Matthew McConaughey. Isn’t that Matthew McConaughey’s catchphrase? I think it is.

Can you cry on command?
Do you want me to cry?

Well, if you can …
No, I’m not that good. I’m not good enough for that. It’s hard! It’s hard when there are a lot of people around. It’s embarrassing.

What credit are you most proud of so far?
It’s still The Aviator for me, because even though it was a really small part, getting that part and then working with those guys, especially Martin Scorsese, was a real pinnacle for obvious reasons.

If Party Down gets picked up, will you do your three episodes worth?
Yeah! Absolutely. It’s a cool show and all of us love doing it.

Who’s your favorite character on the show? Not actor, but character.
I really love Ryan Hansen’s character. I call Ryan the secret weapon of the show because he has no idea how great he is. He never misses a beat. Martin Starr, too. I think in a lot of ways, it’s Martin’s season. And Ron Donald. He’s just such a buffoon. And Lizzy is amazing. We cast her the day before we started shooting. We were so lucky to get her. She didn’t know anybody; it was just a fluke. At the last second — it was my idea, I can take credit for it — I thought, What about Lizzy Caplan? And she had no reason to do it, because we had made this homemade pilot that wasn’t that great and she saw that and was like, “Yeah, it’s not that great and I don’t know any of you guys, but I’m not doing anything so, okay.”

Adam Scott on His Fantasy Career, Crying on Command, and His Catchphrase