Offerman is go-to guy for video virlity on ‘Parks and Recreation’

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In real life, Mr. Offerman has been married for a decade to Miss Mullally (who joins the Fox comedy “Breaking In” when it returns for its second season next month), “and we’re still disgustingly affectionate and pretty crazy about each other.”

Mr. Offerman’s romantic life isn’t the only evidence that he and Ron have their differences.

“I do love the outdoors, I do love woodworking,” Mr. Offerman says. “But, unlike Ron, I get along in the modern world - I can send emails. And I’m much goofier than he is.”

Like Ron, Mr. Offerman loves meat.

“I pay attention to my health. I exercise. But no,” he chuckles dismissively, “I’ve never considered the merits of vegetarianism. If Nick Offerman got the “meat tornado” - an enormous dish Ron savored every bite of in one memorable episode - “he probably wouldn’t finish it. But he’d enjoy the hell out of two-thirds of it.”

The 41-year-old Mr. Offerman was born in Joliet, Ill. Describing himself as “a simple guy,” he says he grew up well-grounded in a family of farmers and schoolteachers and firemen and nurses.

He studied drama at the University of Illinois, but found that the way to support his calling was to swing a hammer building scenery for the Chicago theater community.

After heading to Los Angeles, he was acting and doing scenery construction for a local theater company when he met Miss Mullally, already famous for her role on the hit sitcom “Will & Grace.”

“If you ever are trying to win a lady over,” he advises, “letting her see you in your tool belt doesn’t hurt.”

They fell in love, moved in together and got married. And during that period when she was enjoying huge success and he was scrambling for roles, “Megan’s faith in me saved me from a million bouts of depression. If she thought I was good, then I didn’t care what a bunch of bankers at CBS said.

“Testing for roles,” he recalls, “I would hear, ‘You seem like you’re a good actor, but you’re a little scary, you talk too slow, and you’re a little weird.’ But the stars aligned with ‘Parks and Recreation.’ They found this guy who’s scary, who talks too slow, and he’s golden.”

And as no disciple of Ron Swanson would deny, he’s the man.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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