Rashida Jones solves the dearth of strong female lead roles


Rashida Jones seems to be everywhere.

Since she scored the role as Pam’s rival for Jim in The Office and then became Ann on Parks and Recreation, she has popped up in all sorts of roles — including very butch lesbian Cindy in Our Idiot Brother. (I just realized she’s “lover Cindy.” Heh.)

One part she hasn’t played, however, is the lead.

But rather than just complaining about the lack of rich and layered lead roles for women, Jones decided to do something about it — she wrote one.

“It’s hard to find female leads that are flawed and interesting and dynamic,” she told LA Times. “We wanted to write something that was in the vein of Judd Apatow — you talk like you actually talk with your friends — but with ladies. I want to do that and not just be someone’s girlfriend or wife. I want to be the one to go on the journey.”

The film, Celeste and Jesse Forever, is a romantic comedy/drama (rom-com-dram?) about a couple on the verge of divorce that wants to remain friends. Jones co-wrote the script with writer/actor Will McCormack and told the Times that Andy Samberg will costar. The script has been in the works for several years, but now that independent financing is in place, production is full steam ahead.

“Our movie is about two people who love each other a ton but they don’t know what to do with that love, and how do you let that person go,” Jones said. “It’s very different from: ‘I like having sex with this person because I’m so modern but then, ooh, maybe I like them.’ I’m less interested in that story.”

Kudos to Jones for not letting herself get stuck in invisible movie roles — her expanding role in Parks and Recreation proves that she has the chops for more than supporting characters. And if what Jones says about this being Apatow-for-women is true, we may actually get a new movie that fits the Bechdel Rule.

For that, I’m all in. What about you?

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