Rashida Jones first gained my notice in the 2004 Channel 4 (UK) series NY-LON, which aired here in the States on BBC America. Her co-star in the series was another unknown – Stephen Moyer, who would later find fame on the HBO hit series True Blood.
Since then, Jones, the scion of pop music impresario Quincy Jones and The Mod Squad‘s Peggy Lipton, she certainly has not relied on her Hollywood pedigree to pave her path to success. After completing her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, she started off small, including featured roles in shows such as Freaks and Geeks. For two years, she was a series regular on Boston Public. She even appeared in a couple of sketches of The Chappelle Show during its all too brief run.
A breakthrough came in 2006 when she played regular Karen Filippeli on the NBC sitcom The Office. This must have captured the attention of NBC execs and in 2009 led to a lead role in Parks and Recreation. In the same year, she played Paul Rudd’s intended in I Love You, Man. In 2010, she had a slightly more dramatic turn in the award-winning The Social Network. Last year’s film highlights include Our Idiot Brother and The Muppets.
Most recently (this week to be exact) she has been making waves at the Sundance Film Festival. Her film, Celeste and Jesse Forever, just got picked up for distribution and is being hailed as one of the breakouts of the festival. Not only is she starring in the film (with Andy Samberg), but she also co-wrote and is a producer on the project.
She has definitely built a solid comedic career for herself. Here’s hoping that she has continued success including a career as a comedy writer. A lot will depend on the mass response to Celeste and Jesse. Goodness knows we need more witty people producing material for the masses.
UPDATE (2.03.2012): I stumbled upon a great article in American Jewish Life magazine, profiling Ms. Jones from 5 years ago. Enjoy!