When Greg Daniels and Mike Schur first created the character of Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation," she was destined to be a career girl. Like Ann Marie and Mary Richards, who paved the way for the TV single woman making it on her own, the local official was going to focus on work -- and date a string of questionable but funny men.
Leslie Knope was meant to stay a single girlAnd that was the case for a couple of years for "Parks and Rec's" eternally optimistic Knope. She went from a crush on her co-worker, Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider), to an awkward relationship with local cop Dave Sanderson (Louis C.K.) to the storytelling lawyer Justin Anderson (Justin Theroux). But all the while, the government of Pawnee was front and center in her heart.
Then something unexpected happened to Amy Poehler's television alter ego -- Ben Wyatt moved to town. The teen mayor turned city auditor turned campaign manager, played by Adam Scott, threw Knope and the showrunners for a loop. As Schur noted in a recent conference call interview, "Ben showed up in Leslie's life a couple years ago, and it became pretty clear, pretty quickly that they were soul mates."
Ben Wyatt's proposal moved Amy Poehler to tearsThat doesn't mean that Leslie and Ben's path to happiness has been completely smooth. They have shared a career-ending office romance, an aborted engagement, and a long-distance relationship. But their sitcom love could not be thwarted, and in a recent episode, Ben dropped to one knee and asked Leslie to be his bride.
The storyline had been secretly in the works for a while, but Poehler admitted that she was moved to tears when she finally read the script for the pivotal scene. She recounted, "I cried because I was so happy that I had my job at 'Parks' and then I got to do that scene with Adam, and that Mike Schur wrote it, because I knew it would be great."
Poehler and Scott are thrilled for their charactersShe explained that she had been looking forward to doing the scene as an actor and that she was overjoyed for her character, as well. "I was really happy for Leslie… We care about our characters, so we were excited that this was happening for them."
Scott agreed with his co-star, adding, "We, of course, are well aware that these are fictional characters that we are playing on television. But we also want them to be happy and want them to be all right, and we all care about them. I can say, speaking for myself, that I care about them quite deeply, and so knowing this scene was coming, I was a little nervous about it but mostly just really happy about it."
Now that Leslie has met Ben's dysfunctional family, the wedding planning can begin. Tune in to "Parks and Recreation" on Thursday nights at 9:30 PM on NBC.
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