|New Girl (TV)
Role: Jessica Day
Tuesday 9/8c on Fox
Zooey was on The Ellen Show last week. Unfortunately I haven’t found the full interview online (yet?) but check out this clip if you haven’t yet, so funny!
The one thing I learned while listening in on the phone-call with Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Zooey Deschanel (for the second time in a row on a call, we ran out of time before I could ask my question. So they said) is that if you actually called her ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ to her face, she would probably throw sand in your eyes.
She takes the silliness of her character, Jess, from Fox’s New Girl, very seriously, doesn’t have an Emmy speech prepared (she’s nominated for New Girl) and Titanic’ed the shipper dreams anyone may have had concerning Jess and, well, anybody. It was awesome.
Has comedy always come easy to you?
I’ve always loved making people laugh and in school, a lot of times, would play the comic relief character. But, I did drama, too. I sort of consider myself a comedic actress, not a comedienne. I think it’s different. I’m not a stand-up or anything. But, playing into comedic situations is sort of where, I think, my strength lies.
Has there been an evolution of Jess from the beginning of the season until now?
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Annual Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable: TV’s Funny Ladies on Farts, Fame and Twitter Fury.
To hear these leading Emmy contenders tell it, the offscreen life of a comedy actress isn’t too far from what audiences see every week on the small screen: equal parts pratfalls, a you-go-girl attitude and a willingness to do anything (even a fellatio scene with Woody Allen) for a laugh. Gathered at the Hollywood Tower in Los Angeles on May 7, these seven actresses — Christina Applegate (NBC’s Up All Night), 40; Julie Bowen (ABC’s Modern Family), 42; Laura Dern (HBO’s Enlightened), 45; Zooey Deschanel (Fox’s New Girl), 32; Julia Louis-Dreyfus (HBO’s Veep), 51; Jane Lynch (Fox’s Glee), 51; and Martha Plimpton (Fox’s Raising Hope), 41 — reveal the moments they first knew they were funny, the topic that makes them most angry, how they cope with invasions of privacy and where they would retreat if their acting careers ended tomorrow.
There’s no disputing the star of “New Girl” is also an It Girl.
In addition to a second-season renewal of the breakout Fox sitcom, Zooey Deschanel recently landed the role of country star Loretta Lynn on Broadway, hosted “Saturday Night Live” this past season and has an iPhone commercial in rotation.
With a leading role in the 2009 feature “(500) Days of Summer,” as well as other film credits that include “Almost Famous” and “The Good Girl,” Deschanel has scored legions of new fans with her portrayal as Jess, the quirky roommate of three guys who help her navigate her rocky love life.
“One of the things I loved when I read the script was how weirdly comfortable she was while being awkward, which is an interesting combination,” says Deschanel, who garnered a Golden Globe nod for her performance. “When we started casting the pilot, I read with every single person who came in and was able to experiment with the character. I like the fact that with TV you can do that.”
Showbiz is a family affair for Deschanel. Sister Emily stars on “Bones,” also shot on the Fox lot in Los Angeles and on which Zooey has appeared as a guest star. Their father, Caleb, is a veteran cinematographer and mom Mary Jo is a thesp.
Deschanel also performs in a band called She and Him with M. Ward and plans to go into the recording studio this summer. She sang the national anthem before Game 4 of the 2011 World Series.
“I’m fortunate to be in this position,” says Deschanel of working on “New Girl,” on which she’s also a producer. “I’m looking forward to expanding the character and putting her in new situations that are more fun. We’re all shaping this together — the writers, the actors — in a very collaborative way.”