Director Colin Trevorrow snubbed a big money deal and an A-list cast for his movie Safety Not Guaranteed because he was determined to hire rising star Aubrey Plaza.

The Parks and Recreation actress was the first choice for Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly, and they did everything possible to sign her for the role of Darius Britt, a disillusioned college graduate.

Trevorrow tells Britain's Guardian Weekend magazine, "(We) were told we could get millions more to make the movie if we recast it with bigger names. Derek and I both agreed it had to be Aubrey, and never backed down. A lot of people think Aubrey has one note that she can play, and we used that to our advantage."

Plaza adds, "Sometimes I'm viewed as the poster child for irony, so it was cool to play against that. My job was to go on that journey, and allow someone who is pure and sincere to open me up to things."