To Chicagoans, Lamorne Morris was a familiar face long before he joined the cast of the Fox comedy New Girl. From community theater to the Second City stage to local commercials, he was easy to spot. But the local actor found a much wider audience when he was brought in to replace Damon Wayans Jr. in New Girl's second episode as Winston Bishop. Morris headed back to town recently and joined us for a chat about the show's third season, including Wayans's return to the show.
When we left you guys in season two, everyone was dealing with their love lives, but poor Winston was bleeding out from a badger wound. Did you get medical attention? Are you going to be okay?
Winston is going to be okay. We don't address the badger wound at all.
It'll just be one of those crazy stories to tell the ladies?
Exactly. "Yeah, I was trying to rescue a cat from a tree…in Iraq. I was hit with shrapnel. I took it out with my bare hands."
We don't really address the whole badger bite. Or Winston was just exaggerating a bit. He did that to himself to get sympathy. We do address some of Winston's internal deficiencies. There will be something that happens in the first episode. Winston has a problem. It could stem from that badger bite. I don't know.
Winston and Schmidt did not seem excited about Nick and Jess getting together. Now that they're more of a couple, how are the boys going to handle that?
Schmidt, in particular, is not going to handle it very well. Winston, he doesn't care. But it is affecting the dynamic of the loft. Which is why our tagline for this season is, 'Friends don't let friends do friends.' Part of our job is to get them apart. We do that by trying to sabotage it and do anything we possibly can to keep them apart. We're terrible friends, actually.
Damon Wayans Jr. is supposed to be coming back for an arc this season to play his character from the pilot. Is Winston threatened at all by his return?
I think the storyline is going to be that Coach is trying to get his old room back, so there's a lot of tension between the two. We play into their competitive nature as friends. I think we're going to have flashbacks into what happened: Why he left, how I came back to the loft and how I lived there first and then he came in. We're going to play with that dynamic a lot.
Are we ever going to see any flashbacks of Winston from his time in Latvia?
I want to. We shot a couple of flashback things. One that never aired from season one, I was so mad. You see me playing basketball with a bunch of seven-footers and I hit the game-winning shot and they cheer and then, as opposed to giving high fives and slapping each other's butts, they kiss. And then, one celebration, they come and dump Gatorade on me, but it's not Gatorade, it's this really slow-moving milk. It's like yogurt. It was a really funny bit.
Is there hope for Winston's love life this season or is he destined to be the Phoebe of the group and just date a lot of people?
I don't care. If I do have a love life, throw me Rihanna and I'll be fine.
Just have a new girlfriend every week?
Yeah. Why not? Winston's cool. Not really. Winston is a dumbass. He's an emasculated dumbass.
He doesn't seem to understand the ladies very much.
No, he doesn't and I'm fine with that. Whatever's funny. It can be the dumbest thing in the world, as long as it's hysterical and people laugh. If Winston decides he wants to have some girls, great. If Winston wants to date a goat from Latvia, perfect.
Is there anything new going on with Winston's career this year?
No, we haven't addressed his job at all. He works nights still, at the radio station. We address his relationship with Daisy a little bit.
Right, because Brenda Song is on Dads now.
Yeah, so she's out. She comes back for one episode. And then we address his relationships with animals.
That sounds exciting.
That sounded weird and very perverted, because it is. Winston likes animals. We have a cat on the show.
Is there anything that you'd really like to explore with Winston this season?
I want to explore some of his emotional stuff that he hasn't done yet. We kind of touch on that a little bit when he broke up with Shelby but that wasn't real, that was goofing around. Even the funeral for Nick's dad, in that episode Winston was crying at the eulogy. But again, it was a mess, it wasn't real emotions. I want to do something just real and honest. I want to challenge myself as an actor. I think this show has the ability to do that because it's very well-rounded. We have a cast that's capable of doing it and we tackle real issues like Nick's character being sick. Schmidt's character's tackled emotional things with his father. I think we can go there. I would like to do something like that. I think the show does a great job of making us do everything.
I heard that you hurt yourself playing handbells in the first season. Have there been any other on-set injuries?
Let me just explain myself. I did not hurt myself. My hand got swollen, so I couldn't close it. It was bad. I had to take medicine and ice it. If I could control it, I would. I do not control the swelling of my body. If I could, I would give myself a much bigger penis. Kidding.
[Into the recorder.] Ladies, I do all right in that category. Am I lying, I don't know. Your decision to find out. I've said to much. Find me on Tinder.
What was I saying? I have no idea what I'm talking about now.
Physical comedy scars.
Jake came in this year. He shot a movie, Let's Be Cops with Damon [Wayans Jr.] in Atlanta. He came back to a photo shoot with his finger in a cast.
"Jake, what happened to your finger?"
"Oh, I was playing with this little kid."
"You're a bitch ass, dude! You were playing with a kid? First of all, were his parents around, Jake? What are you doing playing with this child?"
Jake Johnson is a pedophile. Quote that! Teach him to make fun of my bells story.
Have you ever had any roommate situations that are as colorful as the loft?
I lived with a ninja once. A black guy with dreads, who smelled like onions and garlic. He had a magic sword. Whenever you touched the sword, he knew about it. I don't know how. He would come and accuse you of all kinds of things:
"You touch my sword?"
"Did you break my Mom and Dad up when I was five?"
"I'm sorry about that. Repressed memories."
You get so many great guest stars on the show, who did you have a lot of fun with?
Justin Long is one of my favorites, for sure. Justin improvises a lot and we were dying laughing. We had Thomas Lennon on the show and I don't think he had any scripted lines. We did an episode in Chicago with the funeral and we had Nick Kroll and Bill Burr. Working with those two was insane. Those guys are extremely hysterical.
Bill had a line that kept going unnoticed that just had me dying the whole time. Nick said, 'I can't do a eulogy.' And he said, 'Sure you can. Just say a bunch of nice stuff in a row.' He kept doing little things like that under his breath. You could tell he was doing it so only a few people could hear it and not the camera. It was really funny.
Are there any shows this fall that you're really excited about other than New Girl?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I'm a really big Andy Samberg fan and Terry Crews fan. I'm amped about that show. I'm a huge Seth MacFarlane fan, so Dads. I can't wait to see how racist this show is. Because Family Guy is, in my opinion, one of the greatest cartoons ever. If this show is anything like that, it's gonna be insane.
Season three of New Girl premieres Tuesday, September 17 at 8pm on Fox.
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