Rashida Jones loves you, man

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The roles seem

to be piling up for Rashida Jones lately,

and personally, I think the pile-up is a darn good thing. Since ending her stint on

the popular American version of The Office, Jones has been hired

for several parts in both film and television. The most recent job announcement came just this week. Jones is set

to play opposite Paul Rudd in a romantic comedy from DreamWorks

entitled I Love You, Man. Although it’s billed as a romantic comedy,

and in the film Jones and Rudd are engaged to be married, I was still

a little thrown off by the "man" at the end of that title.

But what the heck, it’s from DreamWorks, and that’s not chump change,

right?

But it sounds like one of those male bonding movies.

The early synopsis says it’s about "a

soon-to-be-married man who goes on a search to find a buddy to fill

his empty best man spot." Hmm, yeah, OK. Whatever. I get it; it’s another

platonicomedy or platonomy (yes, I just made those up) between

two straight men. They’re all the rage these days. But forget about

that at the moment and concentrate on Rashida Jones. I am.

Jones, the Harvard graduate

and daughter of music guru Quincy Jones and actress Peggy

Lipton
, seems to be making steady headway in an on-screen career

that poses barriers she has found difficult to break

through. She has discussed more than once the challenges of being

biracial in Hollywood: She is judged “too fair” for some roles and “too exotic" for others, and naturally, she finds it frustrating and irritating.

In what was probably not far

from a real-life exchange, an early appearance on The Office

had her character, Karen Filipelli, annoyingly asked by the fictional

manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin (played by Steve Carell)

whether her father was a G.I. because she was so “exotic.” Of course,

exotic is code for I can’t figure out what the hell you are and I really want to label you!

And obviously that is not fiction for Jones.

What Jones is, if you must choose a label, is beautiful,

smart and talented. That’s pretty much really all anyone needs to figure

out. She’s made People magazine’s list of most beautiful people. Twice. And

that’s without being particularly well known.

Jones’ mother has called her a child prodigy in music — she played piano at age 5 and was a young composer. Rashida composed the music for Harvard’s annual Hasty Pudding show

the year she graduated. She has sung background for Maroon 5. She has written

articles for various magazines. She is the epitome of a Renaissance woman.

Rashida is also set to star in the

Renee Zellweger film Chilled in Miami, and in ex-boyfriend (and The

Office co-star) John Krasinski‘s Brief Interviews with Hideous

Men
. And she’s due back on the small screen in a few weeks in Unhitched,

from the pens and minds of the Farrelly brothers. DreamWorks’ I Love

You, Man
is due to begin filming in April and is scheduled for a January

2009 release date. Hopefully by then, Jones will be attached to a whole

new pile of creative projects, because brains and talent, and not just label-defying beauty,

should always be in demand.

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