Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC
We like a good love story as much as the next girl, but we have to admit that we like our TV working girls to stay single. It’s not to say they can’t find a nice guy, but we don’t want them to pin all their hopes on romance when they’ve worked so hard to build their careers. We felt like Carrie Bradshaw copped out in the Sex and the City movies and we felt a little cheated by the fact that Liz Lemon tied the knot on 30 Rock — even though she ultimately proved she wasn’t going to be the world’s best stay it home mom.
And still, we were thrilled when Parks and Recreations Leslie Knope met Ben Wyatt. Clearly they were destined to be together. And he’s proven time and time again that her ambitions are what make her who she is — the woman he fell in love with.
Their surprise engagement last fall, was one of the best kept secrets on TV in recent years. Not an easy task. And when Ben raised the concept of a sudden wedding ceremony at Leslie’s big charity event, it seemed equally perfect. We weren’t the only ones who loved the idea. In a recent conference call interview Amy Poehler and Adam Scott reflected on the evolution of their on screen personas’ relationship and their recent walk down the aisle.
When Scott joined the cast three years ago, producers didn’t know that their characters would click as well as they did. But as he reflected on his first appearance, he admitted there was instant chemistry, “I recently went back and watched ‘The Master Plan’ — which is the first episode Rob Lowe and I were on. And looking at Leslie and Ben, at our first couple of scenes together, it really speaks to the quality of writing of this show that there’s a lot of foreshadowing of their relationship in the sense that these are two three-dimensional characters that really fit together. And they see things in each other that no one else really sees and hit these buttons with each other right off the bat.”
As a result, he believes that their TV marriage won’t negatively affect the tone of the show, the way that so many other fulfilled flirtations have in series past. “From the very start there was more to it than a simple will they or won’t they,” Adam observed, “that them being married now just fits in naturally with that. It’s not like there’s anything to be lost by them joining together permanently.”
Off screen, their creative connection has also continued to evolve. But Amy said they don’t feel like an old married couple. In fact, they sound more like two people who are still in the exciting stages of new love.
The Emmy-nominated actress acknowledged, “What’s so cool about getting to work with Adam and getting to act with him is that I always get surprised and I’m always challenged and it’s always really interesting. It feels very alive and very young. So it doesn’t feel like we’ve been working together for a long time — nothing about it feels old.”
And yet, Amy admitted that they have an unspoken connection. “I do feel like we know each other really [well]. We acted on another project together recently — a film that Adam did and produced and is the star of called ‘A.C.O.D.’ And when we were working on that, it was really, really nice because... we were so used to working together all the time. So we know each other’s rhythms and stuff and we’re comfortable with each other — which is half the battle sometimes when you’re working — especially in comedy.”
The 39-year-old star of Party Down concurred, “Whenever Amy and I have scenes together, I’m palpably excited that I get to do that. It's really just so much fun.”
Both stars mark the wedding as one of their favorite moments on the show. As Adam noted, "It really felt like we were at a real wedding… We were all there and was a very special evening. It was at night and we were all there in this wedding and it’s make-believe but we were all very moved and it was really something."
Amy believed the episode is a perfect illustration of the way in which the show blends hour and emotion. "There’s a moment in the wedding episode that’s so, to me, the perfect example of a really beautiful and sweet moment [into] just hard laughs. And those sharp turns are so hard to do and Mike does them so well."
But looking back on the their last three seasons together, they each had other episodes hat ranked high on their lists. Adam chose "Road Trip," because "it's where everything culminates and they have their first kiss at the end of the episode. The episode was really well written and directed and the tension leading up to their first scandalous kiss in private I thought [it] was a really, really fun to do episode and it’s one of my favorite episodes to watch as well, really funny.
He added, "Like Amy was saying, the kiss that happens at the end of the episode is so earned and I just love that one as well. I think that’s one of my favorites."
For Amy, the scene where Ben popped the question stands out the most. She explained, "I thought the proposal was so beautifully written and because I remember us walking into Joe Biden’s office and [Executive Producer] Michael Schur talking about how he was going back to his hotel room to write the proposal. So I remember knowing when he was writing it and then getting it and nobody changed a word."
Filming the scene was special for her, too. "I remember that day feeling very special because it was the three of us on set and Dean Holland, our director," Poehler recalled, "and it just felt like a long time coming, which was really nice. Everybody was really happy for the characters and it was a great example of Mike’s writing, which is always a combination of really sweet and heartfelt and it felt very earned but also just very funny."
So it looks like Leslie and Ben are destined to live happily ever after. But there is one significant relationship that's in jeopardy on Parks and Rec — the one between Ben and his favorite food. As Adam confessed, "Well I feel like Ben was betrayed by calzones. But as you know when you’re betrayed let me just say that there’s a period of shame and then there’s always forgiveness. I don’t want to predict anything or spoil anything. But I know that forgiveness is something that’s always possibility."
Poehler chimed in, "I’d like to just point out that Ben is so codependent about his calzones that he often puts his calzones before his work and his friends and his family. And a lot of people are worried. Yes, it’s like enough’s enough. Like how many times does a calzone have to disappoint you before you let it go? Like stop worrying about the calzone’s feelings and like just live your life, man."Well, at least they have each other.
Tune in to Parks and Recreation every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. PST/7:30 p.m. Central on NBC.