Space Force Star Ben Schwartz Didn't Want to Mimic His Parks & Recreation Character

Space Force has been delighting fans on Netflix for a few weeks now, bringing a completely new take on the workplace comedy. The series enlists an all-star cast and crew to bring its story to life, including fan-favorite comedian and actor Ben Schwartz. Schwartz is probably best known to mainstream audiences for voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in the recent live-action movie, as well as playing Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation. While Jean-Ralphio might have some similarities to Schwartz's Space Force character, media manager F. Tony Scarapiducci, the actor made a point to make the two as different as possible.

"The whole idea is grounding him in reality, making him a real person that has real risks, as opposed to Jean-Ralphio, who slowly becomes a Muppet," Schwartz recently told Collider. "This guy is more grounded, and his actions have repercussions, and he really wants to be admired and respected."

"I think if you went back home with this guy that you would find that he’s a pretty sad guy by himself," Schwartz continued. "And so, I think we’re going to get to explore that more and more, if we get to keep making episodes."

Scarapiducci also has a very specific significance in Space Force, as he bears some similarities to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. According to Schwartz, he deliberately wanted to Scarapiducci to not be too influenced by his real-life counterpart.

"The initial sides were just one scene. They didn’t give me the script," Schwartz explained. "So the way that I played it is, because I don’t know very much about the Mooch, I purposely tried not to learn about him. I wanted it to be a character that didn’t feel like it was parodying anybody. So I just made him a person that, in my head, worked as a media manager maybe for like American Apparel, got fired, and got this job, which to him is a demotion. And it’s like his last resort to stay in the field that he was doing. So that’s kind of how I played him."

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Space Force also stars Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Jimmy O. Yang, Lisa Kudrow, Don Lake, Jane Lynch, and Fred Willard. While the series has not yet been renewed for a second season, it has definitely served as a bonafide hit for Netflix thus far.

Season 1 of Space Force is now available on Netflix.

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