Also in Slate, Dana Stevens reviews 30 Minutes or Less.
In the action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less, out today, Michigan-based dorks Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg become unlikely badasses when Eisenberg, playing a pizza delivery boy, gets strapped to a bomb-laden vest by nefarious idiots (Eastbound and Down's Danny McBride and comedian Nick Swardson). Ansari, who is best known as the swaggering Tom Haverford on NBC's Parks and Recreation, talked to Slate about what's coming up for Pawnee, Indiana's most stylish gentleman this season, his love for the new Kanye/Jay-Z album Watch the Throne, and where he gets his slim-cut suits.
Slate: Did you ever think you'd be an action hero like you are in 30 Minutes or Less? Did you imagine being the Indian John McClane when you were younger?
Aziz Ansari: Like the character in the movie, I watched those movies like Die Hard and Terminator, Point Break, all that stuff. So it was definitely fun to be in a movie where there was action like bank robberies and car chases.
Slate: You're working with your 30 Minutes co-star Danny McBride on a movie called Olympic-Size Asshole—what's it about?
Ansari: Myself and Danny play two guys who are best friends and we live in South Carolina or something, and there's this Olympic athlete who's the hometown hero, and he's a huge superstar—on the cover of Time magazine. Everyone loves him, he's a really good-looking guy, and he comes to town and we think he's this awesome guy, and then he has a three-way with our girlfriends, and it destroys our world. We have to get revenge on him. We're just developing that script and we'll shoot it when we both have a break from our respective television shows.
Slate: Was 30 Minutes the first time you and Danny had met?
Ansari: We'd met before. We knew each other and had seen each other around and were fans of each other's work. I'd seen his first movie, TheFoot Fist Way, a long time ago and I remember I met him and told him I thought it was great. He'd seen some of the early stuff I'd done—the sketch comedy show Human Giant. So we'd been fans of each other for a while.
Ansari: I'm the kind of person, if I see something, like a funny video, I want to share it. With Twitter and Tumblr you can do that on a mass scale, and people get to know your personality. If I talk about food a lot, you know that about me. If I eat at a really good restaurant, I want to tell people about it, I want them to enjoy that place.
Slate: One of the things that you obviously enjoy is clothing. This is exaggerated in your Parks and Recreation character Tom Haverford, but you're clearly a very dapper guy. Are there particular places you go to shop?