Maxim - - CONTENTS - —As told to Dan Hyman

The Parks and Rec fun­ny­man on un­earthing his in­ner comic.

Adam Scott is se­ri­ously hi­lar­i­ous. Few ac­tors nail the droll dead­pan bet­ter than he does as sci-fi-lov­ing au­di­tor Ben Wy­att on Parks and Recre­ation— soon to take its fi­nal bow— or in such films as Our Id­iot Brother. But

Scott never ac­tu­ally set out to be a comic ac­tor. In fact, prior to his break­through role along­side Will Fer­rell and John C. Reilly in Step Broth­ers, he was a clas­si­cally trained dra­matic ac­tor whose

only im­prov ex­pe­ri­ence came “as an Up­right Cit­i­zens Bri­gade au­di­ence mem­ber.” Scott strug­gled— and sweat—his way through his role as ul­tra-douchey Derek Huff.

“I liken it to learn­ing the high jump at the Olympics in a sta­dium full of cam­eras,” he says. “I was ter­ri­fied.” That is, un­til he kissed his dig­nity good­bye and learned to em­brace the sheer ab­sur­dity of it all:

“My last day on set was the scene in the car where my fam­ily and I are singing ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ a cap­pella. When I first read the script, I thought that was hi­lar­i­ous: this fam­ily pro­fes­sion­ally singing that song to­gether in the car. But I’m the only per­son not singing in that scene: I’m lip-synch­ing to a guy who is singing live. Like, he’s stand­ing in front of the car, and he and I are lock­ing eyes through the wind­shield. In the movie it looks like I’m driv­ing while singing and scream­ing at my fam­ily, but I’m ac­tu­ally look­ing at this guy. It was bizarre. But that day, I just didn’t feel as freaked. Maybe it was be­cause I didn’t have to keep up with Will and John, but I just de­cided to go with it. And I re­mem­ber watch­ing play­back af­ter we had done some takes and think­ing it was funny. It was as sim­ple as that.”

As he wraps up the fi­nal sea­son of Parks and Recre­ation, the ac­tor re­calls when he stopped be­ing so se­ri­ous and found his in­ner comic.

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