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Nick Offerman reveals reason he argues with Parks and Recreation fans

It has been eight years since Parks and Recreation ended, but fans still can't separate Nick Offerman from his beloved character in his best comedy series.

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in his best comedy series, Parks and Recreation

Nick Offerman will forever be associated with his role in Parks and Recreation. The star played department director Ron Swanson in one of the best comedy series of the 21st century, but it has been eight years since the show ended – excluding a special episode during the pandemic – and Offerman wants to be known for more than Parks and Rec.

Obviously, Offerman has a lot of love for his best TV series, but has found himself squabbling with fans who seem to think he’s actually Ron, rather than just an actor playing a role.

He explained to The Guardian, though, that he’s less keen to fight back than he used to be.

“I’ve argued with fans over whether or not I am actually Ron Swanson and, pretty quickly, I was like: ‘OK, I’ve been a part of this narrative that is a medicinal part of their escapism, and I don’t want to diminish that’.”

So it seems Offerman is changing his ways when it comes to taking Parks and Rec fans to task. A few years ago, he even wrote a song entitled ‘I’m Not Ron Swanson’, in which he made it very clear that he and his fictional character have very different lives.

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But Offerman is still frustrated by the constant conflation of him and his beloved character, including when he played a very different character as part of The Last of Us cast in the unforgettable The Last of Us episode 3.

He said: “People don’t want to allow [you] to play Atticus Finch, or Polonius. They’re like: ‘No, no, you’re Ron Swanson’. So even when I got some attention, earlier this year, for an episode of The Last of Us, there was a portion of people obstinately saying: ‘No, that’s still Ron. It’s prepper Ron. It’s gay Ron. You’ll never not be Ron’.”

It’s a problem that many of the best actors have faced when they’ve stepped away from beloved roles. For some, Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter, Elijah Wood will always be Frodo, and Nick Offerman will always be the grumpy dude with the moustache.

For more on Offerman’s recent success, check out our guides to The Last of Us characters and The Last of Us season 2 release date. We’ve also explained how The Last of Us season 2 will explore a terrifying thing about Infected and argued that Joel is not the villain in The Last of Us.