In 2017’s Ingrid Goes West, Aubrey Plaza plays a troubled young woman whose unhinged thirst for the Insta-influencer good life leads her on a fraud-filled journey to the sunny streets of LA. It was yet another entry in Plaza’s surprisingly wide-ranging filmography—a career defined by sharp wit, unselfconscious risk-taking and lots and lots of extremely GIFfable onscreen moments. Seriously, there’s very little in life that can’t be efficiently summed up with a by a single Aubrey Plaza moment from Parks & Recreation or Scott Pilgrim.
But it was Ingrid—which Plaza co-produced—that won the actor her first Film Independent Spirit Award, for Best First Feature in 2018 (the film was also nominated for Best First Screenplay.) And now, Plaza is already slated to return to the deceptively slippery Spirit Awards stage exactly one year later—not as a winner this time (do check all of this year’s nominees) but as the show’s host.
“I am truly honored and delighted to host the Spirits Awards this year,” said Plaza. “It’s a dream come true to host a show that celebrates my greatest loves—independent film, the people that make them possible and live television!”
Hosting this year’s Spirit Awards a daunting gig to be sure, coming after two consecutive grand-slam turns by Oh Hello! BFFs Nick Kroll and John Mulaney in 2017 and 2018. But hey—why send two dudes to do a one-woman job?
Plaza will join the ranks of such Spirit Awards hosts as Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman (who’s hosted twice), Samuel L. Jackson (also twice) and John Waters (four times!), among many others. The ceremony takes place February 23rd and will broadcast LIVE exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/5:00 pm ET. Is it too early to set the DVR? Probably! But a Google Calendar reminder probably isn’t too much to ask, eh?
“The search for a great Spirit Awards host is never easy,” says Josh Welsh, President Film Independent. “This year we said, let’s find someone funny, smart, a cinephile.” He went on: “Being a great actor wouldn’t hurt, and it’s be an added bonus if they’ve previously won a Spirit Award. Then we realized, oh wait, that’s Aubrey Plaza!” But lest you think it’s all awards-show glamour: the Spirit Awards are Film Independent’s primary fundraiser for year-round programs cultivating the careers of emerging filmmakers and promoting diversity in the film industry. And while we’re at it, get reacquainted with just how much stupid fun all this crazy Spirit Awards falderal is with these 2018 highlights:
Plaza currently stars on the hit FX series Legion, playing Lenny—aka “The Shadow King”—in Noah Hawley’s stylish, idiosyncratic and critically acclaimed X-Men spinoff. The performance earned her a 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards nomination for Best Villain and an Imagen Award for Best Actress. No stranger to independent film, Plaza’s big screen work includes the Sundance favorites The Little Hours and Safety Not Guaranteed, a 2013 Spirit Award winner for Best First Screenplay. Other film credits include Funny People, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The To Do List, Life After Beth and many more.
On TV, you probably don’t need us to tell you about April Ludgate, the deadpan, underachieving assistant to Nic Offerman’s Ron Swanson that Plaza played for hilarious seven seasons on the beloved NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. Plaza has also turned in appearances on shows including Welcome to Sweden, 30 Rock and Portlandia, in addition to performing live comedy since 2004.
“As the awards season slogs to the end, let’s raise a glass to the infectious enthusiasm that only Aubrey Plaza will bring to this party,” said IFC Executive Director, Blake Callaway. So c’mon, raise another flute of your An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn-themed signature cocktail and welcome our new host of the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards! Don’t know who’s nominated this year? Check out our November 16 nominees press conference—presented by Gemma Chan and Molly Shannon—below or on our YouTube channel.
Only Film Independent Members decide the winners. Become a Film Independent Member by December 6 to receive the full suite of Member perks—including awards screeners and access to free screenings of all of this year’s nominated films in Los Angeles. Click here for more information.
The 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast exclusive on IFC Saturday, February 23 at 2:00 pm PT/5:00 pm ET. Keep up with all season long by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors American Airlines, AT&T, IFC and Subaru of America, Inc. FIJI Water is the Official Water. Getty Images is the Official Photographer. TOWN & COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS is the Exclusive Rental Company.