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Q & A: Zooey Deschanel Talks New Girl Season Two

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The Emmy Award-nominated comedy actress Zooey Deschanel steps back into the adorkable shoes of Jess during tonight’s season two premiere of the hit FOX show, New Girl. The premiere finds Jess, who has been recently fired from her teaching position, volunteering herself to be a “shot girl” at a party that her roommate, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), is throwing.

Recently, Deschanel took the time to speak with press about the upcoming season of New Girl. She answered a variety of questions about the show, including the introduction of Jess’ parents, how her character is affected by the loss of her job, and the romantic future of Jess and her roommate Nick (Jake Johnson).

NEW GIRL: Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is shocked by a special request from Schmidt in the all-new Season Two "Re-launch" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, Sept. 25 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX You’re so funny in this show. Has comedy always come easy to you or is it something you’ve had to work out with?

I think comedy’s just about being interested in comedy and what makes people laugh and experimenting. I’ve always loved making people laugh and that was in school I a lot of times would play the comic relief character. So, it’s different patterns; something that always pops up. But, I did drama, too. I sort of consider myself a comedic actress, not a comedienne. I think it’s different. You know I’m not a stand-up or anything. But, playing into comedic situations is sort of where, I think, my strength lies.

Obviously you’ve found yourself having great success on TV, movies, and music. Which one of these outlets do you enjoy most?

I like them all for different reasons. I think it’s important to do a lot of different things. These are all really exciting, fun jobs. You don’t want to stop appreciating them because of the grind. So, I think it’s really important to have, at least for me, different things that I enjoy doing. They all play different roles in making me feel creatively satisfied. I really like the collaboration of doing movies and television. But, I like the sort of solitary work of doing music. I love live performance, too. So, it’s all really great.

I read that Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis are going to be playing your parents. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Yes. I’m really excited, you know. I heard at the beginning of the season that we had talked about maybe having Jess’ parents come in last year, but it didn’t happen. Then this year, before even the season started, we talked about the fact that they were going to introduce Jess’ parents in the Thanksgiving episode. So, we talked about a bunch of people and these were just beyond my wildest dreams. They’re people that I think would be just so perfect. I can’t wait to start shooting with them.

Your mother’s an actress, who a lot people are aware of, especially from Twin Peaks. But, did anybody ever talk about her and her interest of possibly coming on the show as your mother?

No, no there wasn’t. I would love to work with my mom, but I think you want to keep things a little bit more imaginative. If I were to work with my mom, I probably would not want her to play my mom. That would get too real.

With Jess losing her teaching job in the premiere, how much of that storyline will be the focus of her arc this season?

You know she’s been looking for a job for a little while and so they’re throwing out different jobs. It definitely affects her life pretty deeply because this is something she’s wanted to do her entire life and considered teaching to be her calling. So, it definitely is a blow to her. But, I like how Jess is sort of open to new things and although she’s upset about it, she throws herself into to trying to find a new job and is pretty positive about things, which is a quality I like in the character.

I’m just curious — there’s this character who shares this apartment with all these guys and it’s kind of a quirky thing. Do you have anything like that in your real life that you can compare to the TV show? Or, do you have any friends like that or did you ever have any funny roommates?

About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer/Blogger from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, fun.'s Andrew Dost, singer-songwriter Christina Perri, American Idol winners (David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze & Scotty McCreery) and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance. Connect with Kirsten on Twitter & Facebook.
  • Sam

    I really like how she says that they always attempt to ground this show in reality, even when they get into the wacky sitcom stuff. That is the reason I love this show and think that it is so unique. I was talking to a coworker about the show, and she loves the male-female relations ships. I also think that they do a great job at capturing the modern acceptance and openness that these relationships have really well. I missed the last night’s episodes because of my sister’s dance recital, but I was able to catch it off of a recording. I can’t wait to see what kinds of jobs they get Jess try out this season!