On April 9, 2019, it will officially be 10 years since one of our favorite comedy series, "Parks and Recreation," premiered on NBC. In honor of the show's anniversary, Wonderwall.com is checking up on the cast to see how their lives have changed since the first episode aired. Keep reading for more…
"Saturday Night Live" alumna Amy Poehler starred as lovably eager Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation." Leslie was a dedicated public servant for the city of Pawnee, Indiana, who dreamed of one day becoming the president of the United States.
A lot has changed for Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actress Amy Poehler since her debut on "Parks and Recreation." Amy has made space to pursue her other passions, including producing, directing and writing. While starring as Leslie Knope, the Massachusetts native branched out and helped develop new comedy shows like "Broad City," "Welcome to Sweden" (which starred her brother, Greg Poehler), "Difficult People" and more through her production company, Paper Kite. Amy also executive produced and starred in the big-screen comedy "Sisters" alongside BFF Tina Fey. In 2015, the same year that "Parks and Rec" wound down, Amy released the memoir "Yes Please," which landed on the New York Times Best Seller list. She also voiced the character Joy in the animated film "Inside Out." While her career was in an upswing, Amy's personal life took a hit — she and Will Arnett divorced in 2016. In 2018, the mom of two took on a new passion project as the executive producer of the family comedy "I Feel Bad" starring Sarayu Blue. 2019 looks to be a busy one: Along with working as a writer and executive producer on the hit Netflix mystery-drama series "Russian Doll," Amy is starring in and directing the female-driven comedy "Wine Country," lending her voice to the upcoming animated comedy series "Duncanville" and filming Season 2 of her reality craft series, "Making It," with her former "Parks and Rec" co-star Nick Offerman. She's also continuing her philanthropic work with her nonprofit organization, "Amy Poehler's Smart Girls."
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Chris Pratt starred as lovable but emotionally immature Andy Dwyer on "Parks and Recreation." Andy began as Ann Perkins' boyfriend but later became involved with (and married) April Ludgate.
It's hard to miss Chris Pratt these days. A year before "Parks and Recreation" came to an end, Chris starred as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, in the 2014 Marvel adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy." The following year, Chris starred in the rebooted sci-fi adventure flick "Jurassic World," which he followed with roles in films like "The Magnificent Seven" and "Passengers." In 2017, Chris and actress Anna Faris announced they were amicably divorcing and would remain friends, which Chris proved true when he wrote the forward to Anna's memoir, "Unqualified," later that same year. While co-parenting their son, Jack, Chris's star continued to rise with roles in sequels "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" and "Avengers: Infinity War." In January 2019, Chris and girlfriend Katherine Schwarzenegger announced their engagement after about seven months of dating. In 2019, Chris returned to the big screen in the biographical Western "The Kid." Up next for the actor is a voice role in the 2020 animated comedy "Onward" and another starring gig in the 2021 adventure "Jurassic World 3." It's currently unclear if Chris will return as Star-Lord in "Avengers: Endgame" or "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" since (spoiler alert) his character, along with many others, was killed by Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War."
Nick Offerman (right) starred as Ron Swanson, the often-dour and misguided libertarian director of the Pawnee Department of Parks and Recreation who believed that privatizing the government like a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant would fix all the country's problems.
For funnyman Nick Offerman, "Parks and Recreation" proved to be a launching pad to even greater success. Throughout his time on the series, Nick continued to land roles on the big and small screens, most notably on shows like "Childrens Hospital" and "Fargo" and in films like "22 Jump Street" and "A Walk in the Woods." In 2014, Nick released the memoir "Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living," which discussed his early life in Chicago, his passion for woodworking and his humorous take on masculinity, scoring a spot on the New York Times best-seller list. The same year, Nick appeared in the off-Broadway production of "Annapurna" and debuted the comedy special "Nick Offerman: American Ham," which he also produced. By the time "Parks and Rec" ended in 2015, Nick already had numerous projects in the works, including voicing characters in "Axe Cop," "Gravity Falls" and "Hotel Transylvania 2." In 2016, Nick released two more popular books, "Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers" and "Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Workshop." Today, Nick is busier than ever: He's got Season 2 of his crafting reality series, "Making It," with co-host Amy Poehler, voice roles in "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" and "Bob's Burgers," and a part in the 2019 sci-fi drama "Lucy in the Sky." Nick's also returning to TV in the sci-fi thriller series "Devs" and has yet another book in the works: "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History," which he co-authored with his wife, Megan Mullally.
Aubrey Plaza (right) starred as dark and twisty April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation." Throughout the series, intern-turned-staffer April made repeated references to the occult and was permanently unamused by her coworkers.
Like many of the stars from "Parks and Recreation," Aubrey Plaza enjoyed more success on the heels of the show. With parts on shows like "Troopers" and "Portlandia" as well as films like "Funny People," "Safety Not Guaranteed" and "The To Do List," Aubrey proved herself to be a versatile actress capable of tackling some of the quirkiest roles, including as herself on Amy Poehler's rom-com series "Welcome to Sweden." Following the end of "Parks and Rec" in 2015, Aubrey remained a visible presence onscreen with parts in "Dirty Grandpa" and "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" as well as a recurring role as Lucy on "Castle." In 2017, Aubrey took on one of the more complex roles in her career as deranged Lenny Busker on the supernatural-drama series "Legion." That same year, Aubrey starred in two films, "Ingrid Goes West" and "The Little Hours" — both of which she also produced. Up next for this talented actress are roles in the thriller reboot "Child's Play," the animated adventure "The Ark and the Aardvark" and the season finale of "Legion."
Comedian Aziz Ansari starred as Tom Haverford on "Parks and Recreation." Tom was a sarcastic and often shallow man who idolized Vin Diesel and avoided working hard.
For Aziz Ansari, life since "Parks and Recreation" has been a series of amazing highs and career-stifling lows. The South Carolina native, who began working in Hollywood in 2004, landed his first solo comedy special, "Dangerously Delicious," in 2012. By the time "Parks and Rec" ended in 2015, Aziz was a bona fide comedic star with two more comedy specials, voice roles on shows like "Bob's Burgers" and his very own Netflix series, "Master of None," which he starred in, directed, wrote and produced, earning himself two Emmys and a Golden Globe. He released his first book, "Modern Romance," in 2015. Just as quickly as Aziz's career seemed to catch fire, it fizzled in 2018 when the website Babe published an article detailing an anonymous woman's claims that Aziz repeatedly pressured her to have sex with him during a date despite her resistance. He acknowledged the date happened, although he claimed any sexual activity that occurred was "consensual." The admission and article created a wave of backlash from critics and some supporters of the Me Too movement, causing Aziz to all but disappear from the spotlight for nearly a year. In early 2019, he returned to the stage, acknowledging the allegations during a pop-up comedy show in New York where he said, "There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way. After a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I've become a better person." Currently, Aziz is on tour in the States and Europe and is rumored to be returning to Netflix for Season 3 of "Master of None" in the near future.
Comedian Retta (right) played office manager Donna Meagle on "Parks and Recreation." Donna was a curious woman who was easily bored by her co-workers and loved to flaunt her expensive purchases. She was also one of the few employees at the Pawnee Department of Parks and Recreation who actually liked Tom Haverford.
Since her breakthrough role as Donna on "Parks and Recreation," Retta (who was born Marietta Sangai Sirleaf) has landed parts in indie films like "Sex Ed," "Come Simi" and "Other People" and a recurring role on the TV dramedy "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce." 2017 was an even bigger year for the New Jersey native, as she co-starred in four films including the comedy "Father Figures" and voiced Maggie the Cheerleader in "The Lego Ninjago Movie." The following year, Retta landed perhaps her most popular role to date — financially desperate mother-turned-crook Ruby Hill on the NBC crime-comedy "Good Girls," which debuted its second season in 2019. Up next for Retta is the 2019 comedy "Good Boys" with Will Forte and Jacob Tremblay. Fun fact: Retta's aunt is Nobel Prize winner Ella Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's first female president.
Rashida Jones (left) starred as nurse Ann Perkins on "Parks and Recreation." Ann was Leslie Knope's best friend and tended to follow her heart instead of her head.
While on "Parks and Recreation," Rashida Jones also appeared on another hit comedy, "The Office," as Karen Filippelli — a role that continued until 2011. Rashida wrote, acted and starred in 2012's "Celeste & Jesse Forever" and acted in films like "The Big Year," "The Muppets" and "Decoding Annie Parker" plus shows such as "Web Therapy" and "The Awesomes." In 2016, Rashida took on the lead role as a detective in the crime-comedy series "Angie Tribeca" (which she also produced) and in 2017, she made her debut as a documentarian with the six-episode investigative series "Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On," earning her a Primetime Emmy nomination. Rashida returned to the world of filmmaking in 2018 with the release of her Netflix documentary "Quincy," which looked at her father's life and career. The same year, she and musician boyfriend Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend fame welcomed their first child, son Isaiah. 2019 looks to be a big year for Rashida too. She acted in the theatrical drama "The Sound of Silence" and voiced characters in two upcoming animated films, "Spies in Disguise" and "Klaus." She also has a voice role in the upcoming animated series "Duncanville," pairing her with her former "Parks and Rec" co-star Amy Poehler. Coming up next for Rashida is a starring role in the Sofia Coppola-directed adventure "On the Rocks" co-starring Bill Murray.
Adam Scott joined the cast of "Parks and Recreation" in 2010 as Ben Wyatt, a state auditor with an ax to grind. While Ben initially began as Leslie's enemy, the two later developed a steamy off-and-on romance.
By the time Adam Scott joined "Parks and Recreation" in 2010, he was already a bona fide star. While on the series, he appeared in numerous films like "Our Idiot Brother," "See Girl Run," "The Guilt Trip," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "They Came Together," "Sleeping With Other People" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2." The married father of two also produced and appeared on shows like "Party Down" and "Ghosted" and the comedic film "Fun Mom Dinner." We also got the chance to see Adam reunited with his former "Parks and Rec" co-star Amy Poehler in 2017's "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later." Along with making regular appearances on the comedy series "The Good Place," Adam picked up one of his most intriguing roles to date, as Ed Mackenzie, on the award-winning HBO drama series "Big Little Lies," which debuts its second season in June 2019. In April 2019, Adam appeared on the first episode of the rebooted fantasy-horror series "The Twilight Zone" as a doomed journalist on an airplane that's destined to disappear.
Jim O'Heir (back right) played lovable yet unappreciated Gary Gergich on "Parks and Recreation." Due to Gary being perceived as clumsy and unintelligent, his co-workers often dismissed him and his ideas, even though he was usually right.
Although Jim O'Heir's been working in Hollywood since 1993, his time on "Parks and Recreation" as Jerry Gergich is largely considered his breakthrough role. The year the series ended, Jim made numerous appearances in indie films like "Road Hard" and "Life in Color" and on TV shows like "Hot in Cleveland" and "Austin & Ally." He then scored a recurring role on the daytime soap "The Bold and the Beautiful," walk-on roles on shows such as "Veep" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and appearances in TV films like "Range 15" and "The Wrong House." Notable characters Jim's played since include Pastor John in "Heavens to Betsy," Cal in "Logan Lucky" and Milton Wyrick in "Bad Times at the El Royale." In 2019, along with continuing his soap role, Jim reprised his clerical role in "Heavens to Betsy 2," co-starred in the comedy "Smothered by Mothers" and will appear in two upcoming dramas, "Drowning" and "A Second Chance."
Rob Lowe joined the cast of "Parks and Recreation" in 2010 as fellow state auditor Chris Traeger. Chris was obsessed with his health and fitness and sincerely believed he could live to be 150.
While starring as Chris Traeger on "Parks and Recreation," Rob Lowe also took on lead roles in TV films like "Drew Peterson: Untouchable" and "Killing Kennedy" and co-starred in the big-screen biopic "Behind the Candelabra." He also branched out into other TV series, making repeat appearances on shows like "Young Justice" and "Californication." By the time he left "Parks and Rec" in 2015, Rob had already lined up several new shows including "You, Me and the Apocalypse," "The Grinder" (which he also executive produced) and the animated series "Moonbeam City" (which he also produced). His crazy work schedule continued, with Rob landing a voice role on the show "The Lion Guard" and a co-starring role in the medical drama "Code Black" in 2016. Rob also popped up on the big screen in films like "Monster Trucks," "How to Be a Latin Lover" and "Super Troopers 2." 2019 is proving to be busier than ever for this longtime actor. Along with continuing his voice role as Simba on "The Lion Guard," he's set to star as Bill Hixon in a crime series he's producing, "Wild Bill," and will co-star in the holiday-themed romantic drama "Christmas in the Wild."