Patti LuPone tells PEOPLE about costar Aubrey Plaza staying at her New York apartment for a month, joking, 'We could not be more different'
“I miss her. I completely miss her,” LuPone, 74, tells PEOPLE of Plaza, who stayed at the three-time Tony winner’s pied-à-terre for about a month until recently.
In an interview with Vulture published Tuesday, Plaza, 39, revealed LuPone “insisted” she stay with her while the Parks and Recreation alum prepared to star in the Off-Broadway revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.
“She’s trying to whip me into shape,” said Plaza, who added that LuPone made her soup, did her laundry and helped her heal from strep throat.
Speaking with PEOPLE Wednesday, LuPone says she welcomed her Agatha: Darkhold Diaries costar after learning the apartment Plaza had rented wasn’t yet ready. “The lease wasn't available until November and she was starting rehearsal,” explains LuPone.
The women first met earlier this year while shooting the WandaVision spinoff in Atlanta. “She had told me that she had this offer to do a play. She'd never been on stage before, which I find shocking because after seeing her on Saturday Night Live, I thought she's like a natural. She can take the heat, you know what I mean?” continues LuPone.
“I was excited for her and concerned at the same time, because it isn't easy to do eight shows a week. It's not easy,” says the mezzo-soprano, who has starred in everything from Evita to Company. “I said, ‘If you need me, I'm there. You let me know.’ ”
When Plaza said she needed a place to crash at the end of September, LuPone, whose primary residence is in Connecticut, offered up her Manhattan apartment.
“I said, ‘You can have the place to yourself and I'm there if you need me,’ ” says LuPone. “But I was in the city more than I thought I was going to be.”
Lupone says she was happy to offer advice about doing live theater, which she calls “a shock to the system.”
“Basically the advantage for her was I was able to answer questions when things occurred,” she says.
Soon enough, though, LuPone was cooking for Plaza, who was under the weather when she arrived. “She wasn't eating! And I said, you've got to keep your strength up because what you need is physical energy for the stage,” says LuPone, who adds that she only intended to host her. “The taking care of her evolved because she was sick.”
Not that she minded at all. “I love cooking,” continues the actress, who prepared Plaza butternut squash soup, broccoli soup and also made her oatmeal in the mornings.
She confirms she did Plaza’s laundry too. “Basically it was about how do you keep someone — in this case, it's Aubrey — calm. You're taking the pressure off daily life and just putting the pressure where it belongs, which is trying to figure out what you're doing onstage,” says LuPone.
“I'm built for this. I know the drill, and it was just, basically, how can I take care of her in her personal life so that she doesn't have to even think about that?” adds LuPone.
The two didn’t get to hang out all that much because of Plaza’s schedule and the fact that LuPone often headed home to Connecticut, but they did have a few sleepovers.
“She sleeps in a very sexy black nightgown and I have on this long cotton … I look Victorian! All that's missing is a night cap,” she jokes. “I mean, we could not be more different.”
Now that Plaza has moved into her own place, LuPone says her home is less lively. “I come home to an empty apartment when I'm in the city,” says LuPone. “I come home and go, ‘Bummer.’ ”
Still, their friendship endures, and LuPone plans on hosting Plaza at her home in Connecticut when their schedules allow.
"I told her on her days off, I'm going to drag her up to Connecticut and put her in some green, get some oxygen," says LuPone, who loved Plaza's "dry" humor from the moment they met. "From the beginning I thought, 'I want to hang.' "
LuPone says she loved all of her Agatha costars, including Kathryn Hahn, Sasheer Zamata, Ali Ahn and Joe Locke. "All of the women and Joe Locke are extraordinary," she says. "I just want to make sure that you don't think there's favoritism!"
Presumably, they'd all be welcome at her home in New York. Jokes LuPone, "I think I should open a boarding house for people that are making their theatrical debuts.”
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