Parks & Rec’s Best Star Wants To Play DC’s Worst Hero

Ben Schwartz loves the DC hero Plastic Man and wants to play the shapeshifter in the DCU.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated

ben schwartz
Ben Schwartz

Many actors have dream roles, and one Parks & Recreation actor revealed his during the premiere of the Nicolas Cage-led horror comedy film Renfield earlier this week. According to a clip posted to TikTok, Ben Schwartz gushed about his love for Plastic Man, sparking rumors that Schwartz might be the next name to join the new James Gunn-led DC Universe.

The interviewer addressed DC fan Ben Schwartz’s recent interest in playing the DC hero Plastic Man, to which Schwartz responded, “It’s my dream.” He followed this up by saying that he assumed new DC head James Gunn was aware, saying that he assumed the director knew that he “would love to play it.” Before ending the interview, he doubled down in his love for the character, stating that it would be his “actual dream come true” and that he has “so many ideas” for how he would play the character if he had the opportunity.  

The clip comes not from a DC event but from the premiere of the horror comedy film Renfield in which Ben Schwartz plays the character Teddy Lobo. Renfield features Nicolas Cage as Dracula, along with Nicholas Hoult as the titular Renfield, Dracula’s personal assistant. The movie premieres in theaters on April 14, 2023.

Although a stranger to the DC Universe, Ben Schwartz is an accomplished actor. He may best be known for his role on the workplace sitcom Parks & Recreation, where he played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, the boisterously lovable and annoying friend to Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford. He’s also had roles in the animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Showtime series House of Lies, and in the films Sonic the Hedgehog and its 2022 sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as the titular Sonic.

Plastic Man may not be DC’s most well-known character, but he is one of its oldest. The character first made his debut in 1941 and has the ability to stretch/reshape his limbs at will. Although comic book fans have seen this power in multiple iterations countless times, one of the more unique aspects about the character is that he was one of the first superheroes to incorporate quirky or slapstick humor into an action series. 

plastic man

Plastic Man remains relatively unknown to non-DC fans, but apparently not Ben Schwartz. The hero had his own animated series called The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, which ran from 1979-1981. He also appeared as a recurring character in 2008’s animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Given the hero’s comedic nature, adding Plastic Man to the DC Universe could be a welcome shift in tone. Ben Schwartz could be DC’s next Margot Robbie, whose rendition of Harley Quinn brought a more light-hearted, wise-cracking tone to the Suicide Squad movies, which proved to be the injection of energy that fans were looking for. 

DC could be a great fit for Ben Schwartz’s comedic chops, and many fans would be eager to see the actor join the DC universe. For a character like Plastic Man, his quirky, over-the-top sense of humor could be the perfect energy to bring into the DC Universe. Fans will have to wait and see whether or not James Gunn agrees, but it seems like if it were up to Schwartz, we would see him stretching his acting limbs as Plastic Man sooner rather than later.