BACK IN THE SADDLE
Nick Offerman Is Down to Play Ron Swanson Again in ‘Parks and Rec’ Reunion
The actor told The Daily Beast that if Amy Poehler and Mike Schur come calling, he will “certainly sign on.”
AUSTIN, Texas — When the cast of Will & Grace reunited for a new batch of episodes late last year, Nick Offerman got to see up close and personal what it feels like to get the band back together, so to speak, on a beloved sitcom. Not only is his wife, Megan Mullally, one of the four stars of that show, but he also made a guest appearance as Jackson Boudreaux, the “Bad Boy of Bread.”
Offerman sat down with The Daily Beast in Austin, Texas, this week to talk about his new film, Hearts Beat Loud, which had just screened the night before at SXSW. We asked him whether that Will & Grace experience made him think any differently about the possibility of a Parks and Recreation reunion.
“They’re bringing every show back now, maybe they’ll want to bring our show back,” he says. “If that were ever to occur, it would be thanks to brains much larger than mine. Brains that I trust with my life. And so, if Mike Schur and Amy Poehler want to bring the show back and they think it’s a good idea, I will certainly sign on.”
“I will eat more meat at their behest,” Offerman, who looks remarkably more fit these days than he did when he was playing the libertarian bacon-and-scotch-loving Ron Swanson opposite Poehler’s Leslie Knope.
In the three years since the show aired its simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious finale, its cast members have only gotten more and more famous. Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari and others are far bigger stars today than they were when the show premiered back in 2009.
And then there’s Chris Pratt, who was more or less completely unknown when he started playing the dim-witted Andy Dwyer, and is now a top box office draw thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic movies.
“Pratt will come back only as a poster,” Offerman jokes. “A poster and a voiceover,” he adds, letting out a giggle that is reminiscent of Swanson’s sillier moments. “Maybe we’ll make it post-apocalyptic.”
For his part, Pratt said in 2016, “I would never rule it out. There’s jobs I’ve done in the past where I could safely say I would never do that again, but Parks and Rec is not one of them.”
Like Arrested Development, which struggled to get its large and successful cast in the same room to film its fourth season on Netflix, Offerman thinks a reunion would be incredibly “tough to schedule.”
“But I don’t know, every case is different,” he continues. He predicts that the relative ratings success of revivals like Will & Grace are “going to engender a rash of terrible-idea remakes,” adding, “probably some will be good, unexpectedly, and some will suck.”
“I put my trust in the great minds that created the show,” Offerman says. “If they have an idea that they think is valid then I’ll throw my cause in with theirs.”
Stay tuned for our longer interview with Offerman and director Brett Haley about their new film Hearts Beat Loud as well as the actor’s feelings about the NRA co-opting Parks and Recreation memes to promote guns.