Conversation with . . . Rashida Jones

21 03 2009

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Like a volcano poised to explode, beautiful actress Rashida Jones seems on the verge of a major breakthrough. In her latest film, “I Love You, Man,” this daughter of a musical icon talks to Kam Williams as she takes her next step on the way to Hollywood stardom.

In her latest movie, the romantic comedy, “I Love You, Man,” Jones plays the fiance of a nerdy loner (Paul Rudd) desperate to make a friend (Jason Segel) to serve as best man at his impending wedding.

Born in L.A. on February 25, 1976, Rashida Leah Jones is the younger daughter of jazz icon/composer/arranger/record producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton of “Mod Squad” fame. Rashida was raised in Bel Air and attended the prestigious Buckley School where she was a member of the National Honor Society and voted the Girl Most Likely to Succeed. The academic overachiever also received religious training at a Hebrew school en route to Harvard University, and she continues to practice Judaism today.

Not one to shrink away from controversy, the brainy beauty came to the defense of her father as a teenager when he was criticized by Tupac Shakur in a 1994 interview with Source Magazine. During a rant against interracial relationships, the late gangsta rapper specifically indicted “Q” for marrying a white woman, adding that his children were all mixed and [expletive] up because they were biracial.

Although some might question the wisdom of even getting into a pissing fight with a gun-toting, convicted felon who advocated selling crack to kids, Rashida nonetheless summoned up the gumption to confronted Tupac, publicly taking him to task for his scathing remarks. His curious response, however, was to woo her big sister, Kidada, and by 1996 the couple was engaged and planning their wedding when Pac was blown away in an ambush which remains unsolved to this day..

The next year, Rashida graduated from Harvard before kick-starting her acting career in the TV miniseries “The Last Don.” Since then, she has been a staple on the tube, appearing on such shows as “Freaks and Geeks,” “Boston Public,” “The Chappelle Show,” and most recently, “The Office.” And her new sitcom, “Parks and Recreation,” where she will co-star opposite SNL alum Amy Poehler, is set to premiere on NBC on April 9th.

Although twice named to People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World list (in 2002 and 2007), Rashida remains grounded, having being romantically linked not only to heartthrob Josh Hartnett, but also to relatively homely-looking guys like Tobey Maguire, SNL’s Seth Meyers, Mark Ronson, and John Krasinski, a fellow cast member on “The Office.”

Hey Rashida, thanks for the time.

Rashida Jones: No problem.

What interested you in making I Love You, Man?

RJ: First of all, the script was hilarious, and it was just really nice to find a female character that was dynamic, outspoken, interesting and actually an important part of the plot.

How did you feel about the picture’s bawdy brand of humor?

RJ: I’m not easily offended. I have a pretty high tolerance for raunchiness or shock value, so I’m the wrong person to use as a gauge. I just liked the fact that the comedy, for the most part, is definitely based in reality which naturally lends itself to making crazy jokes.

I’m probably a little more prudish than the average person, because I will admit that at the screening I attended, the rest of the audience was howling from beginning to end, and they even gave it a hearty round of applause at the end. I loved it, too, but I was certainly shocked here and there.

RJ: That’s great!

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

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One response

22 03 2009
Wildly Styley

I like Rashida Jones. She’s a hottie.

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