Ron Swanson is an incredibly unique character. We have come to know and love (and want more of him!) on Parks and Recreation over the past three seasons, and in many ways he has been a breakout character, even inspiring a fictious flavor of ice cream. Series creator Mike Schur isn’t surprised by this embrace by the public because “he is played by Nick Offerman and has a big bushy mustache.” In other words, if Schur was a betting man, he would have bet that the old-fashioned, oddball (well, at least for TV characters) would have been the one most gravitated towards.
But what was a little less easy to predict was the fact that Ron’s relationships would be such fodder for funny, as well. And as the seasons have gone on, the show has explored a little more…and then a little more of his past marriage. But in truth he has been married twice, to two separate women with the same name.
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate with the selection of ladies that have graced our stage with their presence, talent, and beauty. I think what the audience will be surprised ot learn is that Tammy II played by Megan Mullally— the gorgeous Megan Mullally– might turn out to be the most kitten-like timid of the Tammys. I am about as giggly as a schoolgirl to be in the position to be playing a man who has made love to both Patricia Clarkson and Megan Mullally,” Offerman dead-panned on a conference call with reporters to discuss the evolution of Parks and Recreation.
Though not much is known about Tammy I (Clarkson) as of yet, Schur pointed out on the same conference call that the secrecy is intentional. He doesn’t want to spoil too much or the punchlines might fall flat. Clarkson is in the first two episodes of the year, and Schur did tease that her relationship with Ron is extremely different from that with his other wife, Tammy II.
“The relationship they have, it’s not that kind of animalistic…they have a much different, much more complicated, rich backstory that we delve into,” Schur shared. “The point of casting Patricia Clarkson was to let her be Patricia Clarkson, and I think we accomplished that. And we wanted to do something very different from Megan’s character, and I think we accomplished that, as well.”
And Offerman has a lot more in common with Ron Swanson than just sharing that wood workshop or being able to build a canoe or play the saxophone. Offerman, too, is very handy around the house, something that Schur teased will make an appearance in an early season three episode. And he laments the softness of the modern man and today’s society that celebrates “hairless torsos.”
Perhaps surprisingly, though, Offerman said he does have “a penchant” for the ballet and would love to see that explored for Ron Swanson, too, in an upcoming episode.
“I’ve been pitching the fellas for the whole time that we’ve been in production for a Ron Swan Lake episode.”
“I know you can dance the black swan, but can you dance the white swan?” Schur countered.
“Give me a chance; I’ll show you!” Offerman accepted the challenge.
Um, can you say renaissance man?
Does it sound like it will be all about Ron Swanson in season three? We’re just getting started with Parks and Recreation news, so don’t worry; we’ll have updates on Leslie (Amy Poehler), Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza), and the whole gang soon! But Offerman puts so much of himself into making Ron Swanson not only not at all a laughing stock but already a classic, iconic character in such a short amount of time that we’d be remiss if we didn’t dedicate some time just to the man, the myth, the legend himself.
Parks and Recreation returns to NBC on September 22nd at 8:30pm.
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