Make no mistake, Rashida Jones has plenty of Facebook friends — but they aren’t the kind she “pokes” or posts embarrassing photos of or asks for help in getting to the next level in Farmville. Rather, they’re all pals she met while filming this month’s The Social Network, a drama penned by The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin and directed by Fight Club’s David Fincher about the beginnings of the hugely popular socializing site. For the most part, Jones — whose only profile is the one you see when you stand beside her — prefers to stay offline.
“I don’t have a Facebook account, I don’t Twitter, I don’t MySpace — I don’t do any of that,” she says. “I’m sort of old-fashioned that way. There’s just something about the constant updating of my not-so-exciting life for public consumption that doesn’t really appeal to me.”
But the affable, bubbly 34-year-old does understand what makes it appealing to others. “It’s like self-branding,” she says. “Everybody’s the star of their own movie, and they get to decide and design and redefine who they are and who they want to be seen as all the time.”
Of course, thanks to her line of work, Jones already gets to constantly redefine how people see her. The Harvard-educated actress got her big break as a sassy high school teacher on David E. Kelley’s hit series Boston Public, then followed that up with roles as a lovelorn paper saleswoman on The Office and as Paul Rudd’s supportive fiancée in I Love You, Man.
Most recently, she’s been breaking hearts and tickling funny bones as Ann Perkins on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, which is scheduled to return midseason. Though Ann lost a love interest with the departure of series regular Paul Schneider, she gained another in Rob Lowe, who joined the cast in May. When the time came in last season’s penultimate episode for Jones to kiss Lowe — whom she cops to having had a major grade school crush on — Jones admits that she simply couldn’t play it cool.
“It was ridiculous,” she remembers, laughing. “I made my sister come to the set. I was like, ‘You have to be here. You’re not gonna not be here. This is everything we’ve ever dreamed of! This is everything we’ve worked for!”
Beyond her on-set lip-locks, Jones shares a lot with her famous family. With HER FATHER, LEGENDARY MUSIC PRODUCER QUINCY JONES, she shares a love for food, travel and people, while she gets her analytical mind and sense of compassion from HER MOTHER, MOD SQUAD BEAUTY PEGGY LIPTON. And physically? “I’m just kinda split down the middle,” she says. “I’m my dad from my nose up and I’m my mom from my nose down.”
But her most obvious inherited gifts are her many talents. In addition to acting, Jones sings (she contributed backup vocals on the first two albums by longtime friends Maroon 5) and writes (she sold her first screenplay, Celeste and Jesse Forever, last year and is working on a film adaptation of a comic book she penned called Frenemy of the State).
When she’s not working, Jones is apt to board a plane bound for Hawaii, the Caribbean, Italy or Paris. (“Every time I go there, it devastates my heart, it’s so pretty,” she says of the French capital.) But when she’s not on the road, Jones enjoys staying home and playing Rock Band with her friends — those of the Facebook variety or otherwise.
Friend Request Pending
In honor of her new movie, The Social Network, we found out what Rashida Jones’ Facebook page would say if she had one.
Birthday: February 25
Current City: Los Angeles, CA
College: Harvard University, '97
High School: The Buckley School (Sherman Oaks, CA), '93
Likes and Interests
Interests: Acting, singing, traveling, hiking, writing, reading
Movies: Airplane!, Broadcast News, Network, Waiting for Guffman, Goodfellas
TV Shows: Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, Modern Family, The Real Housewives of New York, The Office (U.K. version)
Music: A Tribe Called Quest, Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Thom Yorke, The Shins, Bon Iver, Kings of Leon
Books: One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Corrections, Me Talk Pretty One Day and anything by Philip Roth, Joan Gideon or Oliver Sacks