Comedian, actor, and newly-minted author Aziz Ansari hit Reddit this week for an “Ask Me Anything” event to promote his new book Modern Romance, a candid look at dating in the age of smartphones and other technological complications. Ansari’s been working on the book for a while, harvesting research from a number of sources, including a specially created Subreddit, and this week he decided to return the favor to Reddit by tackling questions on everything from the book to his new Netflix show to stories from the Parks and Recreation set.
You can check out the whole AMA over at Reddit, but we’ve gathered the 10 best responses from Ansari below.
On who he, and the rest of the Parks and Rec cast, would play in an X-Men movie:
“I want to play Bishop in the X-Men. I just love how frustrated he gets in the Fox X-Men Animated Series when he ends up in the wrong time.
"Ok, here we go: Adam Scott as Gambit… Nick Offerman as Wolverine…. Retta as Storm… I’ll let you guys take the rest.”
On the craziest thing that’s happened to him while doing stand up:
“One time at some old theatre somewhere I was holding a dude’s phone to read his text messages and it slipped from my hand and fell through a crack in the floor and went into some deep, deep basement and broke. (I bought him a new phone).”
On his favorite story from the Parks and Rec set:
“One time we had Panera Bread Co for lunch and I was curious why of all the places someone chose Panera. It was Jim O'Heir aka Jerry. He kept begging for Panera even though the rest of the cast did not want it. They got the Panera for him. He ended up wrapping early that day and didn’t get to eat it.”
On his favorite wrestler:
“He’s not my favorite but my brother is super into wrestling and a lot of times I get bored and just randomly send him photos of GLACIER from the WCW.”
On the most interesting research he did for his book:
“Talking to the women in the retirement homes was really interesting. A lot of them talked about living at home with their parents when they were 20 and having no options as far as their lifestyle. They couldn’t go to college, have their own careers, etc. So they basically said they got married to get out of the house and have basic adult freedoms. It made me think about how lucky all of us are to now have the "emerging adulthood” phase where you basically just have a chunk of time to dick around and have fun as an adult and not live at home. That kind of independence was something a lot of these women yearned for and didn’t get.“
On his essential romantic slow jam song:
"Mario - Let Me Love You”
On the craziest thing that ever happened to him in school:
“This was elementary school, but once I fell from a swing when I was a little kid cause some bigger kid named Forrest was pushing me too hard. He had me going way too high and the chains got loose and I fell, and I landed on my head really hard. Forrest came up and said, "Are you okay?” and I said, “WHAT DO YOU THINK ASSHOLE?” But it wasn’t Forrest, it was a nice teacher named Mrs. O'Tuel. Cause I was a kid, I was dumb, and never even cleared that up with her. Oh well.“
On his favorite part of his new Netflix show:
"My dad plays my dad and he’s pretty amazing.”
On what he’d change about dating now:
“Less time in front of screens, more time in front of people.”
On the mission statement of Modern Romance:
“Well, one thing I wanted to do with this book was not make it a "how to get laid” book for guys or a “this how you lock a man down” book for women. It’s really trying to go for more of an attitude of — this is what EVERYONE is sort of dealing with. As far as how to decide when it’s game playing or not, I feel at a certain extent you just call it a loss and move on OR do that thing I know some people do where they just try to be honest and find out what’s really going on.“