Three Questions with Nick Offerman

On the eve of his Huntington Theatre Company debut, the actor talks woodworking, literature, and epic mustaches.

Nick Offerman

Actor and woodworker Nick Offerman. / Photo by Shayd Johnson

Best known for his character Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman comes to Boston this fall to play Ignatius J. Reilly in the debut stage rendition of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, a work near and dear to Offerman’s heart. The play runs from November 11 to December 13.

How did you get involved in A Confederacy of Dunces?

I’m not sure where and when the producers got the idea to try me out in the show, but it’s been a dream of mine since I was in college. My smarter friends gave me the book, like they did all my good culture, and we all were crazy about it. Over the years, I would hear these rumors about people trying to make films of it, and I would always wonder what would have to happen for me to get a crack at it. And I guess Fortuna spun her wheel in my direction.

What are your thoughts on Ignatius’s iconic outfit—the scarf, the green cap, and, of course, the mustache?

I don’t do mustaches. That’s not my bag. No, I think that was probably the producers’ idea. They probably saw my mustache and said, “Well, we want to hire that mustache; let’s hope the guy behind it can talk straight.”

You’re also a woodworker, and you were in Boston earlier this year to speak at the North Bennet Street School, in the North End. What was that like?

The North Bennet Street School is nothing short of Valhalla to me. To be invited to speak at their commencement was quite a humbling honor, and touring the school was just astonishing. To see a young lady obsessively trimming shavings from the headstock of her violin with a tiny hand plane…it felt like I was at a superhero training establishment.