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CIVIL WAR’s NICK OFFERMAN: The U.S. President is a Real-Life Boat Builder? Wait. Really?

  • Actor Nick Offerman’s (CIVIL WAR, PARKS and RECREATION) dual career as a woodworker and boat builder.
  • CIVIL WAR now in theaters. 
  • Run time: 1 hour 49 minutes


A Unique Second Career

In his near 30-year career in Hollywood, actor Nick Offerman has carved out a niche as one of the industry’s most recognizable and reliable character actors. He’s flexed his range with his turn as the President in A24’s box office-topping dystopian action film Civil War, but is actually at the top of his game in multiple genres.

Perhaps best known as the sardonic Ron Swanson in the hit television sitcom, Parks and Recreation, Offerman has racked up more than 150 film and tv credits since first appearing in a small part in the 1997 comedy, Going All The Way. Since then, he’s seamlessly navigated between regular comedy and dramatic roles, ensuring he’ll work as long as he wants to be in front of the camera. But he has a pretty unique second career to fall back on if he ever wants to step away from the limelight.

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Wooden Ships and other Things

Nick Offerman and company at the Offerman Woodshop.


Talented thespian as he may be, Offerman is also a whiz with wood. He operates his own woodworking brick-and-mortar in Los Angeles called Offerman Woodshop, and has written several books on the topic. His shop’s website explains their unique mission:

“Offerman Woodshop is a small collective of woodworkers and makers based out of Nick Offerman’s charismatic wood shop in East Los Angeles. We focus on hand-crafted, traditional joinery & sustainable slab rescue–working with fallen trees from our urban LA environment as well as greater California and Oregon.”



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Quality of Life

Taught to use a variety of tools by his father, uncles and grandfather, the future actor quickly found he enjoyed working with wood. As a young man, he found work building props and scenery for theater productions, allowing him the opportunity to combine his passion for acting with working with his hands. According to a 2018 interview he gave to Lisa Boone of the Los Angeles Times, working with wood has impacted his overall quality of life.

“I feel like making things with your hands hones your problem-solving skills in a way that improves the rest of your life. Working in my shop makes me better at finance, better in traffic nd in my relationships.”

Canoes built at the Offerman Woodshop

Among the many remarkable things Offerman has created, some of the most eye-catching are the canoes and small boats he has crafted out of wood. His website proudly displays some of these vessels, which boast such beautiful workmanship you could easily imagine them showcased in a museum someday.



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Woodworking, as it turns out, would likely come in handy if Offerman lived in the fictional world portrayed in director Alex Garland’s Civil War, a story of the downfall of the United States at the hands of extremists–leaving the country a sinking ship, figuratively speaking. Co-starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Stephen Mckinley Henderson, it explores the frightening scenario of American democracy crumbling, and the country being rebuilt in a way we might not wish to imagine.

It’s rare for a person to have even one special talent, let alone two. Offerman’s acting and woodworking qualify him as a true creator, using multiple mediums to ply his art and share a little of himself with everything he produces.






About the Author:


Born on the East Coast but currently residing on the West Coast, Andrew Martin has contributed to a variety of newspapers, magazines, blogs and other mediums  but most fondly remembers his Master’s thesis exploring the impact of the Boston Red Sox on social identity in New England. He enjoys writing about history, sports, culture and investing and recently published his first book–Baseball’s Greatest Players: 10 Baseball Biographies for New Readers, a children’s book about baseball history.


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