Amy Poehler thinks 'Parks and Recreation' suffered from being "mislabelled".

The 52-year-old actress - who played Leslie Knope on the hit TV series - believes the series struggled initially because it was mistakenly described as a spin-off of 'The Office'.

Amy told The Independent: "In the beginning we were fighting for survival.

"We had a really bad launch, in my opinion. We were kind of mislabelled when we first came out, as an 'Office' spin-off, which we were not."

Amy is a long-time friend of Rashida Jones, her on-screen co-star, and the actress believes that their real-life friendship really shone through on the show.

Rashida said: "Amy and I felt that when you saw a lot of movies and TV there were these stereotypical characters where everybody’s always telling their friends all of the mistakes they’re making - but the truth is, most friends are incredibly supportive, have similar interests and tell each other when they’re killing it.

"We wanted to be able to show that - this deep support that women have for each other - and it came incredibly naturally. It’s the love story you can depend on when everything else goes wrong."

Amy's on-screen character also had a positive impact on her real-life self.

The actress explained: "Playing Leslie expanded my life and she was definitely good for my mental and physical health. She was this engine who had to keep things going.

"I’m proud of the choices we made together about what she would and wouldn’t do. She felt like a real human.

"Even now, I have so many people come up to me and say, 'She’s the Leslie Knope,' and I’m like, 'What does that mean?' I think the 'Leslie Knope' is somebody who’s fierce and determined, sticks up for her friends and what she believes in and is a little bit myopic at times. That’s what people are like when they say they’re like Leslie. She was like a Marvel superhero of local government."