Parks and Rec Star Retta Lives to Live Tweet

And when not tweeting up Scandal, she's browsing Instagram for her daily nail art fix

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Who Retta

Accomplishments Stars as Donna Meagle on NBC’s Parks and Recreation (returns Thursday, Jan. 9 at 8:30 p.m.); comedienne; dubbed “The Only Person You Need to Follow on Twitter” by BuzzFeed

Base Los Angeles

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

It’s very vain, but I check my mentions on Twitter. Twitter is also where I get my news. If I get to sleep late, I’ll watch Live With Kelly and Michael. They have the most charmed lives. They get up in the morning, talk about what they did the night before, ask some not-so-hard-hitting questions of celebrities and then go home. I think it’s the most amazing job ever.

Your @unfoRETTAble Twitter handle is hilarious. When did you start tweeting?

I think I joined in ’09, but I didn’t really start using Twitter a lot until I was watching Season 3 of Breaking Bad on DVD. I started live-tweeting the show when I was watching it in my trailer because it made me feel less alone and scared. I’d be tweeting, “I’m really stressed out! They’re in his bedroom! He’s in the shower!” And people would tweet back, “You’ll be fine! It’s worth it!”

What else do you live-tweet now?

I do Scandal, True Blood, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead, sometimes The Mindy Project. I also did House of Cards, Sherlock and Orange Is the New Black, which I just finished over the Thanksgiving break. But it’s not really live-tweeting—I usually watch shows on DVR or DVD.

On the perils of Netflix shows…

Usually everybody watches them faster than I do. They day before I finished Orange Is the New Black, I was with a friend of mine, and she kept bringing up the show, and I was like, “Bitch, if you keep telling me things about this show…I’m not done!”

Do people on Twitter ever get mad at you about spoilers?

Every once in a while I’ll get people saying that I’ve spoiled shows for them, and I’m like, “I watch shows at least a week late. If I’ve spoiled something for you, you have got to get a better schedule.” Or, “How about you not follow me? Never mind, I’ll block you.”

What are your other go-to social media platforms?

I like Instagram. One of my brothers is on it, and I feel like that’s the only way we even communicate half the time. And I follow a lot of nail design people on there, even though I’m scared to do anything other than a French manicure. I fall into Instagram nail design black holes almost every morning.

What’s your must-have gadget?

It’s lame, but it’s my phone. I just updated to the 5s. I was really pissed because I had the 4—I didn’t have Siri, I was fine—and I was living a perfectly normal life until I upgraded to iOS7 and it slowed my phone down. I was psychotic. And there was no iPhone 5s anywhere. But I finally found one and now I kind of love it.

What’s your favorite app?

This is so lame, but Rashida [Jones] and Adam [Scott] told me about these apps SignEasy and DocuSign, and they have changed my life because now I don’t have to print contracts to sign them. My printer isn’t working, so I haven’t been able to print anything for five months.

What’s on your reading list?

I just got Nick Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe, and Rob Delaney’s book, Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage., is next to my nightstand.

How do you pass the time on set when you’re shooting Parks and Rec?

If the whole cast is on set together, we do a lot of singing. Amy [Poehler] used do this game where if someone said a name to you, you had to attempt to do an impersonation of that person. And another thing we used to play was “Name five people over 60 you’d have sex with.” That was hilarious.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.