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Looking Back On Roles That Have Shaped Rashida Jones’s Career In Film And Television

Fall cover star Rashida Jones is an entertainment powerhouse with a firm footing in various creative and executive positions throughout her decades-long career. Having gained notoriety on primetime drama Boston Public, Jones steadily earned a reputation as a Hollywood polymath by expanding her curriculum vitae with gusto. Having transitioned to film projects as a charismatic lead, she began writing both teleplays and screenplays, taking a seat in the director’s chair, as well as spearheading productions as both a producer and executive producer. Here, we take a look back at Jones’s most memorable and notable moments in film and television.

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Foraying into screenwriting, Jones penned the script for Celeste and Jesse Forever alongside her writing partner Will McCormack, a first for the burgeoning Hollywood heavyweight. The romantic comedy-drama stars Jones and Andy Samberg and follows the two as they navigate an impending divorce with earnestness.

On The Rocks

Bill Murray, Rashida Jones: photo courtesy of Apple

Following her turn in Celeste and Jesse Forever, Jones continues her leading lady status in Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks. Having initially read for a role in Coppola’s Lost in Translation co-starring Bill Murray (a role that was eventually given to Scarlett Johansson), the director pairs the Parks and Recreation actress with the veteran comedian in her new comedy-drama. The film depicts a raucous ride around New York City between a father and daughter, as the two investigate whether Jones’s husband is engaged in an illicit affair, all while confronting their own familial dynamic as grown adults.

Quincy

Photo courtesy of Netflix © 2020

For her directorial debut, Jones chronicles the legendary musical career of her father, the inimitable Quincy Jones. Working alongside Alan Hicks, the critically acclaimed documentary spotlights the various professional endeavours throughout his decades-long tenure as a music industry veteran, while also detailing intimate moments of his personal life. The resulting Netflix feature doubles as a love letter to the central male figure in Jones’s life, and a thorough overview of a multi-talented musician who has left an indelible mark on popular culture.

Parks and Recreation

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Tomorrow!! #parksandrec

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The Office is what helped thrust Jones into the household name that she has become. Portraying Karen Filippelli, she is most notable for having been romantically involved with series mainstay Jim, creating a juicy love triangle tinged that sarcastically thwarts genre norms. Building off her credentials as a comedic powerhouse, Jones was cast in The Office spinoff Parks and Recreation as Ann, the yin to Amy Poehler’s yang. Subtle humor informs Ann’s various trials and tribulations, including her romantic escapades alongside co-stars Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, and most notably, Rob Lowe.

Hot Girls Wanted

Photo courtesy of Netflix © 2020

Tackling a particularly taboo subject matter, Jones, alongside her co-producers, shed light on the professional amateur porn industry in the internet age in Hot Girls Wanted. Set in Florida, the documentary uncovers the sometimes empowering, other times degrading aspects of pornographic work, while also exposing the potentially exploitative aspects of this billion-dollar industry. Girls aged 18-21 are the primary focus of the film, typifying the “barely legal” niche. Hot Girls Wanted examines male viewing habits, the vulnerability of impressionable young women, and how far an individual will go to amass cultural capital in a society obsessed with notoriety. 

Black Mirror

Having established herself in the television sphere, it was inevitable that Jones’s ceaseless curiosity would have her divulge her creative impulses in a teleplay. Dystopian anthology Black Mirror reunited Jones with her Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur. Bryce Dallas Howard stars as a woman obsessed with her socioeconomic status, in a world where human interactions are reduced to a five-star rating system that denote worth, scrutinizing valuation in the contemporary social media landscape.