Rashida Jones plays well with others

Actress Rashida Jones, co-screenwriter of "Celeste and Jessie Forever."
CBS News

(CBS News) Talk about a tough act to follow. As the daughter of music mogul Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton, Rashida Jones has had to prove that she's a talent in her in right. Which she has - and then some. Lee Cowan paid her a visit:

Rashida Jones has never been one to hog the spotlight. Her brightness comes from sharing the stage with others.

Whether it's in her current role as Ann Perkins starring opposite comedian Amy Poehler on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," or as Karen Filippelli, one of the dysfunctional desk jockeys in "The Office," all that ensemble work is where Rashida Jones feels most at home.

Even in the middle of an interview, she's playing to the rest of the room.

"I just like doing things with people," she said. "It's not worth it to me unless you can do it with people that you love and get along with. Because it's so lonely to just sit and be successful at something and then, what, celebrate by yourself?"

Her role in "The Social Network" won her - and her colleagues - two awards for Best Ensemble Cast.

Her most recent film, "Celeste and Jesse Forever," is also a collaboration.

Jones co-wrote the script with her ex-boyfriend, Will McCormack, which was handy given that the film's theme is the pain of breaking up.

"For me, it's horrible. It feels like somebody died," Jones said. "They didn't, and it's totally fine and you get over it, but at the time you're like, 'I'm never going to get better. I'm never gonna feel good,' and we wanted to make sure that felt real.

Rashida Jones and Adam Samberg in "Celeste and Jesse Forever." Sony Pictures Classics

"It was really scary but at the same time, nobody cared because I'd never written anything, and everybody in Hollywood is writing a script, so the pressure was off, you know?" she laughed.

Her try-anything approach, she says, came from her parents. She was born in Los Angeles to music mogul Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton.

Both were vigilant at showing her both sides of the entertainment world - and what happens if you take the life of celebrity too seriously.

"For the most part, having more money and more fame make your life harder," Jones said. "It just does. I've seen it happen with people. You know, it's so hard to stay normal. It's so hard to stay happy. It's hard to remember why you were doing what you did in the first place."

So, she says, she never puts too much emphasis on any one thing. Instead, she samples a lot.

She went to Harvard, and although she was involved in acting and music, she majored in religion and philosophy.

How did that happen? "I don't know, I um. . ." she laughed. "I think that's the whole point of a liberal arts education, is you study something that you would never get the opportunity to study that has nothing to do with what you actually end up doing in your real life."

Now at age 37, real life to her, it seems, is a moving target.

She's done a bit of everything. She's appeared with nearly every Muppet, and in keeping with her ensemble roots sang backup vocals for the band Maroon 5.

And none of it came easy, she says.

"You've said that despite all the family connections that nobody really gave you a leg up, you didn't get an easy pass," Cowan said.

"I wish! Oh my God I wish! I would have LOVED an easy pass, it would be so great!" she said.

"Did you want it?"

"Yeah, are you kidding?" she laughed.