Rashida Jones: Hollywood’s Obsessed With Looks And Youth, But ‘I Have More To Give’ | TODAY


DUTY ON “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” PLAYING PRESIDENT TRUMP AND BILL O’REILLY.>>>JUST OVER A DECADE AGO, RASHIDA JONES JOINED THE CAST OF “THE OFFICE” WHICH STARRED STEVE CARELL. SHE MADE SUCH A SPLASH THAT THE SPOOF LAW AND ORDER-STYLE TV DRAMAS THEY ASKED RASHIDA TO PLAY THE TITLE CHARACTER ANGIE TRIBECA. RASHIDA GREW UP IN THE HIGHEST REACHES OF SHOW BUSINESS, BUT SHE’S MADE A NAME ON HER OWN AS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST, SMARTEST ACTRESSES AND PRODUCERS IN HOLLYWOOD. RASHIDA AND I GOT TOGETHER HERE IN NEW YORK FOR A “SUNDAY SITDOWN.” *>>SO, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, RASHIDA, THAT I HAVE A DEEP CONNECTION TO “ANGIE TRIBECA” BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK I’M ON THE SHOW.>>IT IS CRAZY, YOU AND HAYES LOOK-ALI LOOK-ALIKE. YOU’RE THE SAME SIZE.>>HOW IS THAT?>>ARE YOU 6’4″?>>UH-HUH.>>YOU’VE GOT A PROMINENT NOGGIN.>>IT FILLS THE FRAME.>>RASHIDA AND MY DO THAUPLE HANGER PLAY IN FROM MOVIES LIKE “AIRPLANE” AND “THE NAKED GUN.”>>I’M SURE YOU CHECKED THE HARPOON SERIAL NUMBER AGAINST THE HARPOON DATABASE, RIGHT?>>IT’S THIS KIND OF COMEDY WHERE WE’RE RUTHLESS ABOUT TELLING JOKES. THERE’S LIKE TEN JOKES A MINUTE. WE’LL DO ANYTHING FOR A JOKE. AND THE MORE SERIOUS WE ARE, THE DUMBER THE JOKES ARE AND THAT FRICTION IS WHAT’S FUNNY.>>THE SHOW ISN’T RASHIDA’S FIRST COMEDY, OF COURSE, SHE GOT HER BIG BREAK PLAYING KAREN ON “THE OFFICE”?>>WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE?>>FROM THERE, SHE SPENT SIX SEASONS ALONGSIDE HER FRIEND AMY POEHLER ON “PARKS AND RECREATION.”>>I’M WAY OVERDRESSED.>>YOU LOOK GREAT. WE LOOK GREAT. EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT US.>>BUT WITH “ANGIE TRIBECA” RASHIDA TAKES CENTER STAGE.>>WAIT FOR MY SIGNAL ON FIVE, FOUR, THREE — TEN.>>IS THAT SCARY TO BE THE CENTER?>>YEAH. I’M THE CHARACTER. IT WAS A LITTLE SCARY, I DIDN’T WANT TO FAIL. IT’S A HARD THING TO HIT THE BULL’S-EYE WITH, THIS KIND OF COMEDY. *>>OW!>>YOU HAD TONS OF AMAZING CAMEOS, ANGIE TRIBECA, INCLUDING YOUR MOTHER.>>MOM!>>WHAT? YOU NEVER CALL ME. AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO DO SOMETHING TOGETHER.>>HOW DID YOU GET HER TO COME ON THE SHOW?>>IT WAS REALLY HARD. IT WAS REALLY HARD. HER QUOTE WAS HIGH. SHE WAS DIFFICULT. SHE KEPT SWINGING FOR A COUPLE TIMES. IT’S BEEN FUN, SHE’S BEEN ON A COUPLE TIMES NOW. WE GET TO PLAY WITH THE IDEA THAT SHE’S MY MOM.>>RASHIDA’S MOM IS PEGGY LIPTON WHO STARRED ON THE “MOD SQUAD” IN THE ’60s ON THE SAME PARAMOUNT LOT WHERE “ANGIE TRIBECA” IS FILMED. LIPTON LATER MARRIED QUINCY JONES KNOWN AMONG OTHER THINGS AS PRODUCING MICHAEL JACKSON’S “THRILLER” ALBUM.>>WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP.>>I WANTED TO BE THE PRESIDENT AND/OR A JUDGE AND/OR A LAWYER. SOMETHING WHERE I WAS AN ENFORCER.>>IT WAS DIFFICULT TO IGNORE SHOW BUSINESS, THOUGH. DURING A CHILDHOOD SPENT HANGING AROUND CLOSE FAMILY FRIENDS LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON. BUBBLES THE CHIMP, MICHAEL’S PET CHIMP ONCE BIT YOU IN A PRETTY VICIOUS WAY.>>THAT’S TRUE.>>IT IS TRUE?>>YEAH.>>REALLY?>>YEAH.>>WHEN YOU WERE A KID?>>YEAH.>>WHAT HAPPENED?>>HE GRABBED MY HAIR BAND AND I OPENED THE CAGE TO GET IT BACK. AND HE LIKE GOT OUT. HE STARTED LIKE THROWING THINGS AT ME. AND I WENT UP, NO, DON’T DO THAT, HE GRABBED MY HAND LIKE A SANDWICH.>>HE BIT YOUR HAND.>>YEAH.>>A SCAR STILL.>>THAT’S LEGIT?>>THAT’S LEGIT.>>RASHIDA SURVIVED THE BUBBLES INCIDENT, A FEW YEARS LATER SHE MADE GOOD ON A DECLARATION SHE MADE TO HER PARENTS AT THE AGE OF 4. SHE WOULD GO TO COLLEGE AT HARVARD. SETTING ASIDE THE LAW SCHOOL DREAMS FOR THE GRIND OF AUDITIONS.>>THE OTHER THING THAT I THINK PEOPLE PROBABLY ASSUME ABOUT YOU GIVEN THAT YOUR PARENTS ARE SO WELL-KNOWN, IS THAT YOU COULD WALK INTO AN ADDITION AND SAY I’M HERE FOR THE LEAD ROLE AND THEY COULD HELP YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS. BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WAS ALMOST THE OPPOSITE?>>I WISH. IF SOMEBODY HAD GIVEN ME HANDOUTS BECAUSE OF MY PARENTS I DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE TAKEN THAT. IT’S HARD OUT THERE.>>SO WHAT WAS THAT AUDITION PROCESS LIKE?>>I KIND OF FELL IN THE MIDDLE SOMEWHERE. BECAUSE I’M BIRACIAL. SO I’D GO IN FOR PARTS WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO BE BLACK. THEY WOULD GO, YOU’RE TOO LIGHT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE. THEN PARTS LIKE I’M SUPPOSED TO BE WHITE AND THE LEAD GIRL. THEY THOUGHT I WAS QUIRKY AND NOT QUITE THE LEAD. I JUST KIND OF FELL IN THE MIDDLE SOMEWHERE.>>THOSE AUDITION HAS ARASHIDA. SHE’S BECOME AN OUTSPOKEN ADVOCATE THAT WOMEN SHOULD FOCUS LESS ON LOOKS.>>DO YOU SAY TO YOUNG GIRLS AND WOMEN DON’T INVEST ON YOUR LOOKS, THEY’RE A DIMINISHING ASPECTS?>>I THINK IN SOME WAYS I’M TELLING MYSELF THAT, TOO. I’M IN AN INDUSTRY THAT’S OBSESSED WITH LOOKS AND YOUTH AND I KNOW THAT I HAVE MORE TO GIVE. I WANT TO MAKE SURE I DON’T FEEL LIMITED BY THE WAY OTHER PEOPLE SEE ME. YOU KNOW. IT’S PART OF OUR CULTURE TO SELF-BRAND AND TO REPRESENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND ALL THIS STUFF EVEN FOR LIKE REALLY LITTLE KIDS. SO, I THINK THERE HAS TO BE AN OPPOSING MESSAGE. LIKE YOU CAN CULTIVATE YOUR SKILLS. YOU CAN’T CULTIVATE YOUR LOOKS, YOU KNOW.>>RASHIDA HAS BEEN CULTIVATING HER SKILLS FOR WRITING AND RUNNING SHOWS. SHE’S THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE NEW TNT SHOW CALLED “CLAUS.” AND CHOSEN TO CO-WRITE “TOY STORY 4.” IS THERE A STORY THAT YOU WANTED