“Parks and Recreation” alum Nick Offerman is teaming up with his wife Megan Mullally to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the cool, laid-back cousin of awards shows.
This year, the show has moved up a few weeks from its traditional post on the Saturday before Oscars and will air live on IFC and AMC+ on March 6 at 5:00 pm Eastern.
Otherwise, the Spirit Awards are going back to their roots for an afternoon fete in a beachside tent in Santa Monica with a batch of truly independent nominees, from “Zola,” the based-on-a-Twitter-thread tale of a few sex workers on a wild trip to Florida, to “Pig,” in which Nicholas Cage plays a recluse forced back into society to hunt for his stolen truffle hunting companion.
Offerman took a few minutes from his home in Los Angeles to speak to The Associated Press about hosting this year, Mullally’s absence from the interview and what to expect from the show.
Remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.
AP: I think you and Megan are the first married couple to host the Spirit Awards.
OFFERMAN: Oh that’s a great question. Are Nick Kroll and (John) Mulaney not married apparently? They were just dating?
AP: Did you draw the short stick to have to do these interviews alone?
OFFERMAN: Megan sends her apologies. We like to do these things together but we had a boisterous night of love making so she’s now resting.
AP: How are you preparing for the show?
OFFERMAN: It’s nice with our hectic schedules and the preponderance of content available to us these days to be given a strict schedule of courageous art films to watch. Usually we’ll watch something like “Red Rocket” and then be like, “Wow, that was powerfully moving and really burned some brain calories. So now let’s watch some garbage for four days.” Instead, we’re watching this great work, day in and day out.
AP: The Spirit Awards seem like one of the most fun awards shows. Do you have any favorite memories from years past?
OFFERMAN: I’ve really enjoyed my time there. It’s by far the most fun because it’s sort of the least under the watchful eye of our corporate moms and dads at the studios and networks. The Spirit Awards is the back of the bus where the cool kids go to smoke jazz cigarettes and play grab ass. I’m told that I have three very specific favorite memories from the Spirit Awards, but I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of recall of them. But I mean, I still have all my fingers and toes, so think I came out on top of that wrestling match.
AP: Some of your “Parks and Recreation” co-stars have preceded you as host. Have you looked at any of them for advice?
OFFERMAN: Not so much advice. The fun thing about doing gigs like this is the most powerful weapon we can bring to bear is our personalities. I’ll talk to Aubrey Plaza about advice for the overall vibe or sort of steering the magic of the evening. But beyond that, you know, she participates in black magic and other witchery and that’s not our thing. We rely on a more old-fashioned sort of Nichols and May vibe. We’ll probably have a little more Vaudeville than previous hosts.
AP: And it sounds like you’re keeping busy with lots of other projects too (including “Pam & Tommy” on Hulu).
OFFERMAN: Megan is working on a film and a TV show at the same time. It’s the exact same time, but they’re heroically weaving her schedules together. So number one, I’m her trainer. Yeah, she’s Rocky and I’m Burgess Meredith. I’ve got her stool from her and her bucket and her towel from her, and I’m sponging her off on a nightly basis, sending her back into the fray. Beyond that, that allows me a lot of time for writing. I have a new book out called “Where the Deer and the Antelope Play.”
And I’ve started a new experiment, a Substack, which is a thing people can subscribe to where I write a couple of times a week a sort of a humorous/earnest question-and-answer-like inspiration column. It’s called Donkey Thoughts with Nick Offerman. I also then record audio versions of it so that people can listen to it or, rather, I understand a lot of people will play my voice to put their children or spouses to sleep if they’re experiencing distemper or digestive problems.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.