'Parks And Recreation': Tom Almost Dated Aunt May & 2 Other Wild Casting Near-Misses
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Although the cast of NBC's long-running sitcom Parks and Recreation may be iconic, it seems that the team we see on screen weren''t always the OG employees of Pawnee, Indiana. from Nick Offerman's pre-Ron Swanson role to Marisa Tomei's appearance, here are three close casting calls from Parks and Rec.
Marisa Tomei as Aziz Ansari's Love Interest
Reader, did you watch Spider-Man: Homecoming and think “wow! this needs more Parks and Rec? Did you watch Parks and Rec and think ”wow! This needs more Aunt May?" If so, it seems you narrowly missed out on the Parks and Rec x Spider-Man crossover of your hyper-specific dreams. In a recent Reddit AMA, Parks and Rec showrunner/co-creator Mike Schur revealed his favorite plotline that got away, an arc featuring Aziz Ansari's Tom Haverford getting with a much older woman – more specifically, a much older woman behind the hottest iteration of Aunt May to grace any iteration of Spider-Man - Marisa Tomei.
“We at one point wanted Tom to date an older woman (older than he was, I mean) -- thought that would be fun,” he wrote. “Actually approached Marisa Tomei about it but the timing didn't work out.” So close and yet so far.
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Nick Offerman As, Well, Not Ron Swanson
Despite his iconic performance as Ron Swanson, the former director of Pawnee's Parks and Recreation department, it seems Nick Offerman wasn't always destined to play the man famed for hating skim milk and boldly going where no meat lover has before – the turf n' turf. Yep, before hitting the small screen as Swanson, Offerman auditioned for another role – Mark Brendanawicz.
"At the time I was reading for it, though, it was a slightly different character, and it seemed like it was going great," he recalled of the audition process. Despite this initial success, his audition process quickly soured after the chemistry test with Rashida Jones, Screen Rant reported.
Ben Schwartz was almost Dave The Cop
Offerman wasn't the only Parks and Rec actor to find himself switching roles before the series hit the small screen. Prior to his portrayal of Jean-Ralphio, Ben Schwartz originally had his eyes on a different role – and love interest besides well, himself – Dave the Cop, a.k.a. Leslie Knope's former boyfriend.
Although as Screen Rant also noted, the show's team – to use their words, and, well, that of every non-committal casting director known to man – allegedly “loved his energy” during the audition processes, they found him to be a bit too young to plausibly play Knope's paramour. Let's face it, Leslie may be many things, but a cougar is apparently not one of them.