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Rashida Jones: From the Other Woman to Leading Lady

Office alum Rashida Jones sounds off on her famous parents, her edgy new Fox sitcom Unhitched (Sundays at 9:30 pm/ET) and being "the other woman." TV Guide: Congrats! After years of dues-paying, you hit it big as The Office's Karen — aka She Who Dared Come Between Pam and Jim — and now

Brantley Bardin
Office alum Rashida Jones sounds off on her famous parents, her edgy new Fox sitcom Unhitched (Sundays at 9:30 pm/ET) and being "the other woman."

TV Guide: Congrats! After years of dues-paying, you hit it big as The Office's Karen — aka She Who Dared Come Between Pam and Jim — and now you're the leading lady in the Farrelly brothers' gleefully gross new sitcom, Unhitched. How's it feel?
Rashida Jones:
It's very exciting, but a big responsibility. I can't just come in and be sassy and leave, ya know? But I took the role because the pilot script made me laugh out loud. It's got realistic characters, but it's broad and shocking in a way that's like, "You won't believe what happened to me: I was on a date, and this monkey jumped on my back and tried to rape me!"

TV Guide: And that's in the first five minutes, folks!
Jones:
I'd gottenpretty cynical about comedybecause there are notlots of great scripts, andbecause I'd been in the best comedy on television. The Office spoils you but Unhitched seemed right, because it was so different from The Office.

TV Guide: Agreed. So what are the Farrellys like?
Jones:
They'reamazingly awful andawfully amazing. [Laughs]Like, the first time I metPete, he hugged me andtried to unhook my bra.

TV Guide: In Unhitched, you play a suddenly single divorce lawyer who, along with three newly dumped best buds, is horrified by the realities of dating. Do you relate?
Jones:
Well, dating hasbecome a sport and notabout finding the personyou love. But I'm veryconservative: I want tobe with my soul mateforever. That was theintention every time I'veentered a relationship.

TV Guide: Which brings us to the rumor that you're dating your former Office costar, John Krasinski. Since you were recently quoted as saying you didn't think anyone in history ever had profited by talking about their personal life, we don't suppose we could get a tiny confirmation...?
Jones:
Of course not. [Laughs] Didn't you just read that quote?

TV Guide: But don't you pine to be in the tabloids alongside Britney Spears or Michael Jackson?
Jones:
Oh, yeah, it ismy deep desire to behounded by people whowant to see me fail. Tome, Michael Jackson is the great American tragedy. Look at what we've done to him and to Britney — where's the responsibility? It's terrifying to think that you stop even trying to be a person in the real world because you're afraid to be accosted. As a sensitive person, I'm gonna have to find a way to not be as affected by it as I am.

TV Guide: In your Office days, did you get scary hate mail about being "the other woman"?
Jones:
It was divided,but I did get drunk girlsgoing, "Pam is better!"And if you seek it out onthe Internet — which I did — well, guess what? You will find something terrible about yourself!

TV Guide: One chat-room quote I found read, "Despite my overwhelming jealousy of Rashida Jones and my general dislike of Karen, I have to say the actress is pretty cool."
Jones:
See?Look how many stipulationsI had to make itthrough for that personto like me!

TV Guide: Surely your dad, Quincy Jones, and your mom, Peggy Lipton, gave you some advice on navigating Hollyweird, no?
Jones:
As much as my parents are part of Hollywood, I have no recollection of them giving me advice about it.The truth is that my dad grew up incredibly poor in Chicago and my mom is a Jewish Long Islander so, really, for them the focal point was creating a normal community for me.

TV Guide: So you went to Harvard intent on becoming a lawyer. Were your parents shocked you ended up an actress?
Jones:
No, because they're weirdly, unconditionally proud of me. My dad travels the world with, like, press clippings of me in his pocket. He's so sweet, he's edible.

Watch the premiere episode of Unhitched in our Online Video Guide. Also, watch the Mitovich Mega Minute's video Q&A with Rashida Jones.

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Send your comments on this Q&A to letters@tvguide.com.