"Parks and Recreation" said its final goodbye on Tuesday, and through a series of flash-forwards, viewers found out what exactly happened to every member of Pawnee's Parks Department. A few hours before the finale, HuffPost Entertainment caught up with Retta, who plays treat yo'self queen and real-estate mogul Donna Meagle, to hear about her final moments at the happiest show on television.
"I don't plan to have a whole bunch of eyeliner on," Retta said when asked how she'll watch the episode with the rest of the cast and crew. "We’re pretty excited because we had this epic group text since we started the final season. It has been going and going and going. We’re actually just looking forward to being in the same room again. There's gonna be a lot of 'Dammit, Jerrys!'"
Here are six stories from filming the "Parks and Rec" series finale, according to Retta:
1. Aziz Ansari and Nick Offerman really wanted one last line.
The last scene they all filmed together happened in the Parks Department bullpen, when they all look at Leslie's scrapbook, "Thanks Form The Memories." "There was a thing where when Aubrey [Plaza], Chris [Pratt] and Amy [Poehler] walk out of the room and Aziz [Ansari] and Nick [Offerman] didn’t have lines in that particular scene," Retta said. "Every time they exited that room, so they would have something to say, they would go, 'Bye, guys!' It was such a dumb joke and they did it every single take. 'Bye, guys!' like little girls. We kept laughing about that."
2. Everybody wrapped separately.
According to Retta, every cast member concluded his or her "Parks" time separately. "Nick and Amy still had a couple of scenes to do, so they did Nick’s series wrap after they did their scenes together," she said, referencing the scenes where Leslie talks to Ron about running Pawnee's National Park. "Then Amy had her series wrap last. Her very last scene was putting up the murinal, that terrible murinal on the wall."
3. The cast didn't see one another's flash-forward scenes, unless they were in them.
Even though they all read the same scripts, Retta said they would add stuff on the fly. "It would be like, 'Well, while we've got you in makeup ...' I barely remember what I shot, let alone what everyone else did."
4. Donna's Seattle house nearly featured a starving teenager.
Donna's future included a beautiful home in Seattle with her husband, Joe (Keegan-Michael Key). For these scenes, Retta said they used a family's private home. "The kid that lived there was hanging around and he was watching the scene. But he would walk in and open the fridge and get stuff. We were like, 'Who is this kid in these people’s fridge?' Aubrey and I were like, 'We’re going to get in so much trouble. He’s taking things out of their fridge!' Then we realized he lived there."
5. She doesn't know if Leslie became president.
When asked if she had any intel on creator Mike Schur's vision for Leslie's political future, Retta said no. "We never talked about it," she said. "I think Mike wanted the audience to make their own decision as to what happened. We didn’t see everything." Schur confirmed the ending was left ambiguous on purpose in an interview with E! News and said, "I just wanted there to be one thing where people would look at the information and then suss it out in their own minds what they think happened."
6. No one wanted to leave.
By now, it's "Parks and Rec" lore that the cast and crew are obsessed with each other. Retta said that while filming the finale, there was one last group shot that kept everyone together for a few more moments. "There was a picture we took under a tree and it was our last outdoor scene," she said. "Then they asked us to walk over to this tree to take a picture. We were like, 'Oh, my God, this is our last parks scene, our last outdoor scene.' When they were taking the picture, everyone was like, 'Use my phone! Use my my phone!' It took forever, but they took a picture on every single person’s phone."