Why Nick Offerman Intentionally Distanced Himself From the Ron Swanson Look

Now he keeps getting mistaken for Antonio Banderas
Why Nick Offerman Intentionally Distanced Himself From the Ron Swanson Look

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You couldn’t blame Kevin Nealon for believing his neighbor Nick Offerman was running away from something. On the latest edition of his Hiking with Kevin video podcast, Nealon tells Offerman that “you look nothing like” the mustachioed Parks and Rec character Ron Swanson anymore. “I know you’ve gotten into shape because I see you running up and down the street in front of our house all the time. And I’m sitting inside with a bowl of ice cream. I looked at you and I thought, ‘This guy is just fed up with that Parks and Rec look and he is just going for it!’”

Offerman was anything but fed up while he was on the long-running sitcom. “It was such a blessing to win the actor’s lottery and land on a show created by Mike Shur and Greg Daniels with that cast,” he told Nealon as they huffed up a California hill. One of the perks of the job was Shur approaching Offerman early on and gently requesting that the actor “stay beefy.”

In Hollywood, Offerman says, such a request is a “very lucky thing to hear from your boss” because usually, the ask is just the opposite. “They made Steve Carell drop 80 pounds” after the first season of The Office, Offerman joked, adding that Carell was also required to get a butt implant and new calves. It’s all an exaggeration, but Carell did indeed get a glow-up after his show’s first season, partially because he had to get in shape for The Forty-Year-Old Virgin

Getting to eat anything he wanted was great while Offerman was on Parks and Rec — “the great gift of seven years of being on that show” — but he found himself with a problem once the sitcom ended. While Offerman was grateful to get acting proposals of any kind, “suddenly everything I was being offered was all like the ex-college football hero who’s put on a hundred pounds and is standing in his briefs looking in the mirror and crying.”

That was fun for a while, Offerman confessed, but he also wanted the opportunity to play more diverse roles. The change-up in looks — clean-shaven and relatively lean — must have paid off since Offerman works constantly in prestige projects like The Last of Us, A League of Their Own and Devs. You’d be hard-pressed to find another actor with more IMDb credits over the past few years.

But that doesn’t mean Offerman has completely left his Ron Swanson look behind. As Nealon and Offerman hiked, they were stopped by two young women on the trail. “You know, I was walking up, and I was like, ‘That guy kind of looks like Ron Swanson,’” offered one of the hikers.

“I sometimes get mistaken for Antonio Banderas,” Offerman replied. “Or a weird Clooney cousin.” 


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