Will there be a wedding on Parks and Recreation this year? How will everyone in the Parks department take the news of Leslie and Ben’s engagement? Was there every an alternate idea for Ben’s proposal?
Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur tackled a bevy of burning questions about last night’s surprising and moving episode today in a conference call with reporters — and here’s the scoop! (If you missed it, read the recap here.)
+Will there be a wedding this season?
While Schur didn’t want to say whether or not we’d see a wedding this season, he said their plan would not be impacted by the show’s outlook for another season. “We learned a long time ago that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. For that reason, our motto has been to go for broke,” he says. “Tell every story you want to tell and don’t worry about what comes next. Don’t worry about the future.” But one thing fans can definitely expect? Everyone in the Parks department to get in on the wedding-planning fun. “You know that no matter what, Leslie will involve and include everyone in her plans — every time,” says Poehler. “This engagement will be everybody’s engagement. Certainly…everyone’s reacting to it in different ways and being included in different ways.”
+What’s next for Ben and Leslie?
It was evident from the beginning that Ben and Leslie were “soul mates” says Schur, so this “watershed” moment give the writers a chance to show them “intertwining their lives, officially.” Adds Poehler: “[We get to see] how Leslie and Ben handle distance and jobs and what comes next and the balance of what’s going on in their personal and professional lives.”
+ How long had the proposal been in the works?
Schur explained that everything at the beginning of the season was designed to bolster this big moment, everything from Ben’s success in Washington to his opportunity to move to Florida instead of heading back to Pawnee. In the end, they had to give him a reason to return “and there’s only one thing that would do that,” he said. “[Ben had to say,] ‘This is my priority and everything else is in second place,’” says Schur.
+ Poehler and Scott on their reaction to reading the proposal:
“When I read that scene, I cried because I was so happy because I had my job at Parks,” said Poehler, adding that she learned of the twist while the cast was filming the season premiere in Washington D.C. Scott, meanwhile, admitted that he was “a little nervous” about filming the important moment, but also couldn’t help but feel happy for the pair. “We, of course, are well aware that these are fictional characters we play on television but we also want them to be happy and be alright. We care about them. I can speak for myself and say I care quite deeply.”
+ Was the box Adam gave Leslie the ring in the same box he used to give her the Knope 2012 pin?
Yes. AND it was the box in which Leslie gave him the Washington Monument figurine. Additionally, we might see it again — in the series finale. “At the end of the show we’re all going to jump into the box and fly away,” jokes Poehler.
+ On the “fart-attack”
“We probably spent 10 or 12 person hours working on the farts — the sound, volume, style,” says Schur. “You only get to do a fart attack once and we wanted to make sure we got it right.”
+ On next week’s episode…
Leslie meets Ben’s parents, played by Jonathan Banks and Glenne Headly, and Ben’s dad’s girlfriend! “It’s rare peek into Ben’s world and family and that dynamic,” says Poehler. Meanwhile, Scott says the casting couldn’t have been more on-point. “I love the idea of Ben’s father being just a little terrifying. I think it fits in really well with the character of Ben.”