02.04.13 Truth & Wisdom

Rashida Jones Talks Feminism, Being Funny and Her Favorite Swear Words

Rashida Jones Talks Feminism, Being Funny and Her Favorite Swear Words

BY Dawn O'Porter

I love funny women. Love’m. So I thought I would grab one of my favs and ask her some random questions so we can all get to know her a bit better. You might have heard of her, Rashida Jones? Of course you have. Well this is the conversation i had with her last week. What a cool chick she is!

Hi Rashida, how are you today?
Well hello, Dawn.

(Every time I say your name, I want to say:
“A new dawn. Younger model”
“I’m not a model.”
“Not as bright as Dawn.”)

It’s from The Office UK. Christmas Special. Point is, I am just fine.

Did you just say I look like a model? *Swishes hair* Anyway… It’s snowing back in London. You have lived in LA all your life. You can’t have seen much snow?
I lived in New York for 8 years and Boston for four years so I have seen my fair share of the white stuff!

Not that white stuff.

My bad. You were saying?
I love snow. I miss it. But I do NOT miss wind and sleet. In college, I would get home after walking from class and my hair would be frozen to my face.

Gosh, that sounds awful. I’ve been reading about you all day. You are endlessly fascinating. Having been surrounded by fame all of your life (your father is musician Quincy Jones, your mother actress, Peggy Lipton. You once got given a Cabbage Patch Doll by Michael Jackson, etc. etc.). Do you ever get starstruck?

Endlessly fascinating is a huge compliment/exaggeration!

Nope, I’m gonna stick with that if you don’t mind…
OK. Well, I am a very curious person and have also lucked into an interesting life. I tend to be starstruck by people who are in my home every week. Like I just met Lady Mary from Downton Abbey (I know, I know, her name is Michelle, but not to me) and I kind of got a little shy because she is so pretty and so good on that show that it was almost too weird to talk to her! I get how people bug out on the stars of their favorite shows.

Totally, you should have seen me the first time I met Kristen Wiig. The words mop and bucket might have been used.
Yeah she is for sure mop and bucket worthy. Wait..is that an English expression? Are those tools for cleaning up tears? Or Sweat?

Tears. Yeah, sure. I totally didn’t mean pee.

So…I’ve just watched a load of interviews with you on You Tube. You are terribly nice and awfully funny. There would be many gals like you who’d have lived your life and ended up being a right pain in the arse, how have you kept it together?
You know, I have parents who always stressed that you have to respect everyone. No matter what. And I have also seen so many people rise to success and then fall and those who ride the waves well and those who do not handle it as well. I have seen every permutation of fame. It’s not an easy game, a lot is demanded of you. So all I can do is just be myself and not believe it when people tell me that bullshit about how great I am because ultimately, it’s all conditional and when you start to believe it, you’re done. You lose touch.

*Awkward cough*. You are pretty great though.
Thanks. I’ll take it.

What would you define as normal?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. Normal is relative. People tend to ask me “what was it like growing up in Hollywood with famous parents?” And the truth is, how would I know what is was like NOT growing up like that? That was my normal.

I think I know what you mean. I made a few documentaries about alternative families. Polygamous families, Free Lovers, and one thing I was always surprised by is that when the doors are closed to the outside world, no matter how bizarre these people seem, a family is just a family like any other. Would you say that was true of yours?
Yes, although I wouldn’t classify my family as bizarre. Meaning, when I finally did go off into the real world, I didn’t have an abnormally difficult time adapting. Also my parents can hang with anyone, so I have those genes.

So how normal do you feel now you are all grown up?
Now I’m not sure if normal is a pejorative word but I guess I’m pretty normal. Like I don’t sleep in a freezer or have ten sports cars or anything.

Yeah, hah, that would be weird! *Gets out of freezer*

How girly are you?
I’m pretty girly in that I like fashion and I’m not into horror movies and violence. BUT I don’t take a long time getting ready, I have a serious potty mouth and I am not that high maintenance.

Do you have a favorite swear word? A ‘go to’ obscenity?
Hmmm, they are all so good. But fuck is powerful. In a way no other one is. Fuck. FUCK. See? It just sounds naughty.

Apart from people who sleep in freezers what, if anything, makes you feel a bit awkward?
Actually, being treated differently. And being recognized. It’s always nice if someone comes up and says “I’m a fan!” But when they stare, point, whisper and take pictures with their camera phone when they pretend they’re not, it makes me uncomfortable.

Isn’t that THE WORST. I am like, stop pretending not to take pictures of me. Then I’ll grab their phone and be like, oh, you weren’t. And then the police come, and they do that thing where I have to put my hands behind my back and everyone pretends not to know who I am. Does. My. Head. IN.
HAHA, that literally does sound like the worst.

So…would you call yourself a feminist?
I would, yes. I believe in the unadulterated advancement of women. And we have so far to go still. I do think because women are so clever and flexible and such good communicators, it been hard for men to evolve and keep up. I think we could do a little better to help them out.

Who are your female idols? Past and present.
Amy Poehler, Elaine May, Nora Ephron, Diane Keaton, Margaret Sanger, Ruth Ginsberg, Oprah. All fearless and elegant.

*Has a little Nora Ephron moment*

You told me that your favorite food is pizza. How often do you eat it? Whats your favorite flavor? How would you describe your diet and your attitude to food?
I don’t eat pizza that often. I save it for special occasions. Mainly because dairy gives me a two-day hangover and stomach ache (I’m Jewish). I have a pretty good attitude towards food. I was a chubby pre-teen so I definitely have leftover body issues but I try to eat to feel good and for energy. So I eat healthily. But that gets boring so I do go on sugar jags sometimes. And I crash HARD.

You never told me your favorite flavour? Sorry, it’s the details that I thrive on…
Oh shit. I like straight up Mozzarella, basil and tomato the best. Throw in some arugula if I am feeling frisky.

You came to my wedding, thank you! Did you like my dress?
Your dress was AWESOME. You looked absolutely gorgeous and I love how well you know yourself fashion wise. Your clothes have a wonderful retro and adorable yet modern and sexy point of view. I envy it!

I really wasn’t fishing for compliments but, err, thanks. I guess I did look kinda pretty. Kinda. Maybe. Stop going on about it I get shy…

On those nights where you get to stay in and do nothing, what do you do/watch/read?
I catch up on Portlandia, Downton Abbey or Mad Men, or I’ll watch a documentary. I LOVE documentaries. Searching For Sugarman was the last one I saw. I wept like a colicky baby. I wish I read more. I have a large gap when it comes to the classics. That’s my next project.

I recommend Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Oh, and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the book is so much more glorious than the film. But I wonder if you are talking more about classics such as Jane Eyre and The Bronte Sisters? You should download the abridged audio books. They are quick and you get the story and a great sense of those iconic characters. It’s a great way of getting through them all. You’re welcome.
I did mean more of like, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. But I loooooove To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it in school and I think it’s responsible for shaping my inner ethical code.

Oh, and lastly. On New Years Day this year I woke up with a French Fry stuck to my butt cheek. Have you ever woken up with anything strange stuck to you? It’s a fair question. Don’t judge me. And yes, I ate it.
GOOD FOR YOU, girl. I just read that 1/3 of the food produced in the world is thrown away!! You don’t waste a scrap, I like it. I definitely have woken up with weird things on me and/or in weird places. Once in college, I woke up on the floor of a communal bathroom in a dorm I had never been in. College.

Ah yes, college. Once I woke up in a….you know what? Let’s just end it there.

Rashida Jones everybody! *Rapturous applause*.

You can follow Rashida Jones on Twitter @iamRashidaJones.

Image from here

Dawn O'Porter is a British journalist mostly known for her immersive documentaries on subjects such as Polygamy, child birth, breast cancer, extreme dieting and the movie Dirty Dancing (Just pop her name into You Tube, you will find them all). A regular contributor to many publications including The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and The Huffington Post, Dawn covers all subjects relevant to a woman's life. Dawn is not one to shy away from any subject. Her first fictional novel, Paper Aeroplanes will be out in May. Follow her on Twitter @hotpatooties for regular funny updates on food, fashion, the odd one liner and some serious, no holds barred honesty.


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