Aubrey Plaza: Stroke at 20 changed my approach to life

Aubrey Plaza at the Los Angeles premiere of "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" on June 29. The actress had a stroke at age 20. File Photo: Jim Ruymen/UPI

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5¬†(UPI) — Aubrey Plaza is opening up about the debilitating stroke she had at age 20.

The 32-year-old actress reflected on the experience in an interview with the Guardian¬†while discussing her bond with “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” co-star Adam DeVine, who was hit by a truck at age 11.

“We both had really major health crises,” she said of herself and the actor. “I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with his approach to life, and with me it’s the same thing. Things take on a different meaning when death comes so close.”

Plaza was studying at New York University when she had the stroke in 2004. The incident left her temporarily paralyzed and with expressive aphasia, a condition where she lost the ability to speak and write.

“I could understand what’s happening, but I couldn’t talk or communicate,” the star explained. “Like, you could say something and I would know what you meant but I couldn’t express it or even write it. That was the weirdest part.”

“When it first happened to me I was paralyzed, but I was so young that my brain healed itself really fast,” she added. “I was really lucky in that way.”

Plaza called the stroke a “freak” occurrence and “one-time thing” when she appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2012. She said at the time that she’s doing just “fine,” adding, “It happened and now it’s over.”

Plaza is known for playing April Ludgate on “Parks and Recreation” and will star on the upcoming FX series Legion. She is also slated for the movie The Public with Emilio Estivez and “The Little Hours” with Dave Franco.


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