Paul Schneider’s Mark Brendanawicz was one of the central characters of Parks And Recreation’s first two seasons, acting as a love interest of sorts for both Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope and Rashida Jones’ Ann Perkins. He also filled the role of the government employee who hates working for the government, but then kind of loves it after embracing a bit of Leslie Knope’s un-dying enthusiasm—well before that role was filled by every other character on the show. Then he left, and nobody ever saw him again, even though ostensibly he still lives in the same town. Now, Paul Schneider is suggesting you might not be seeing much more of him either.
Speaking with ScreenCrush about his aptly titled new film Goodbye To All That, Schneider talks about how he moved out of L.A. because of how “isolating” it is—and how, if that makes it harder for him to get acting jobs, so be it. “Fuck work,” are his exact words. He also says he requires “different stimulus” than acting in too many films, or else he won’t be able to “shit out something good.” When asked if he has considered doing something other than acting, he said he “fucking [thinks] about it every day.”
That’s how most of the interview goes, in which Screen Crush’s Mike Ryan refers to Schneider as “a straight shooter.” And when it comes to why he left Parks And Recreation, Schneider is just as candid. He says he chose to quit after the writers changed his character into one with “a lot less to do,” which seems to have left him bored and confused with the direction the show was taking. He’s also “not interested” in appearing on Parks And Rec again in the future, despite past suggestions that he might someday.
It’s not all refusing to return to beloved sitcoms for Schneider though, as he also fills the time in between his sporadic acting jobs by watching Frontline and DVDs of America’s Funniest Home Videos. “They have segments on that show that are unbelievable,” Schneider says of the long-running program about people falling down. “The Internet has not cornered the market on witty voiceover and fun music.”