Staff WriterPoehler was also very emotional as she looked around the room. She even confessed, “I’m going to cry,” a few minutes later when talking about how the fans really were the ones who took ownership of the show and made it what it is. She was also very quick to answer every question almost perfectly, then quipped, “I’m talking too much.” We didn’t mind at all, though. The stars started off by talking about the casting process of the show. Mike Schur was taken aback at the fact that many of the now cast members weren’t currently working on any other projects at the time, but was lucky enough to grab them for himself. He also joked, “It turns out when you put Amy Poehler in your TV show, other people want to be in your TV show!” The cast recalled some of their favorite (or least favorite) moments of filming, favorite guest stars and of course, the relationships on the show, which is what Parks is really all about. Poehler and Scott discussed the proposal scene between Ben and Leslie, and how special it was to them. They said they stuck to the script exactly as it was written, and noted that they didn’t look at each other or interact much before the scene either, to make it more organic. Pratt and Plaza also commented on the romance between Andy and April. Oswalt asked whether either of the two had seen the relationship coming. Plaza joked, “I saw it in a dream, a fiery nightmare.” “Looking back now it seems so intentional,” Pratt added. “April and Andy are just meant to be together.” The cast then took a few questions from fans. The audience members couldn't believe they were actually being acknowledged by some of their favorites, proceeding to freak out for a few seconds, while the cast got a good chuckle out of it. One fan had flown from Detroit just for the occasion, and asked the cast if they felt the show was an accurate portrayal of the Midwest. Poehler thought the fan should be the one to answer, to which the girl responded that she felt it was, with its depictions of community and togetherness. Retta also agreed based on a Grammy party she attended, where she met a lot of people from Indiana and felt like a “rock star” because of it. A couple of other fans mentioned Poehler being an inspiration to young women, and another fan asked where she’d like to see Leslie Knope at the end of the series. “I don’t know, I’d like to have a happy ending for her-But I don’t even like to think about an end for her,” Poehler said. One of the most revealing moments of the night, for me, was finding out who is most like their character… The award goes to Nick Offerman on that one, as the always-charming Libertarian, Ron Swanson. Ron’s workshop is actually Offerman’s real-life work space, and he actually builds chairs. The boxes that were given to Ann and Chris as a going away present from Ron, were actually gifts carved by Offerman himself. If that isn’t enough for you, when Schur mentioned the idea of Duke Silver, Offerman admitted that he played the Saxophone. Whoa! Mind blown. When the panel ended, the cast walked off, and the audience was shown an extended clip of Oswalt’s Star Wars/Marvel filibuster scene. Fans, including myself, rushed to the stage, hoping to get an autograph from the cast. Jim O’Heir, Retta, Ben Schwartz and Chris Pratt were nice enough to make their way across the stage, signing posters and whatever memorabilia fans had brought with them. O’Heir and Schwartz also posed for a few selfies. If you’ve never been to Paley Fest, but are a huge TV fanatic, I highly recommend it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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