Zooey Deschanel, the adorable, dorky new “It” girl on New Girl

Zooey Deschanel, the adorable, dorky new “It” girl on New Girl

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Off-beat with a dorky charm, Zooey Deschanel stars in New Girl, the hot new Fox sitcom that has critics and audiences totally smitten with the actress who starred in 500 Days of Summer.

Zooey says, “I would like to think that it’s me. But it’s not actually me. But it’s a secret part of me.”

The sweet actress doesn’t think the new girl Jess role was written for her, but she does think that she and the show’s creator-producer, Liz Meriwether, are connected. “Liz and I have souls that are connected. So when your souls are connected, you’re meant to do a show together.”

When she first read the New Girl script, Zooey insisted that she had to get the role because she says “it’s me.” She describes her adorkable character as “someone who expresses her emotions all the time.”

The set up for the sitcom is that after a bad breakup, Jess moves in with three single guys, changing all their lives in unexpected ways. Zooey says, “She’s very much herself, and she’s almost too in touch with her emotions. I think that’s a really great contrast with the other characters, the guys who are less in touch with their emotions. I think the comedy comes out of that.”

Zooey is a singer as well as an actress, so when the role as Jess has her bursting into a song, it was very natural for her to play. “I feel Jess is not a singer, but she wants to sing because she thinks she’s a great singer. It’s crazy. It’s just part of how she expresses herself. I don’t want to overdo it, but I feel like the singing moments are really well peppered in,” she explains.

Jess sings when she doesn’t know what to say, and Zooey thinks that’s funny. “When there’s an awkward moment, she sings, but she’ll do it in different styles depending on her mood.”

She notes that it would be crazy if she was singing all the time throughout the show. But it is fun for her to do different styles, a little jazzy, heavy metal, sometimes like Ethel Merman, sometimes a little ghoulish singing. “It all depends on her mood and the moment,” she says.

Part of the fun of the show is that there is some chemistry with the guys, played by Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris. They look out for her, and give her some tough love, but there’s also some flirting.

One of the things Zooey hopes the show will do is to advocate attractive dorks, and give them a voice. Also she hopes to get a trend going with the “douchebag jar.”

Regarding her big hit movie, 500 Days of Summer, Zooey is happy that people really connected with it. It was so fun to do that movie. But I think that character was different from Jess. Although they look alike.

And speaking of looking alike, Zooey is the sister of Bones’ star Emily Deschanel, who told her working with Fox would be an amazing experience, and told her what to expect.

As for being dubbed the adorable new “It” girl by the media, Zooey laughs saying, “My mom told me when I get compliments to cover my ears. I don’t know if I’m adorable. I don’t think of myself that way, but I will take the compliment. Thank you.”


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 30 years.

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