Interview with Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel

Photograph: Autumn de Wilde

She & Him

She & Him, the Holiday guide, December 2011

Congratulations to She & Him singer, New Girl star and (perhaps her greatest achievement) TONY cover model Zooey Deschanel. This morning, she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Comedy or Musical), and the Fox sitcom got a nod for Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical). 

We spoke with Deschanel and her musical collaborator M. Ward about their new album, A Very She & Him Christmas, and the holidays (read the interview), but here's more from Deschanel on New Girl:  

Are you surprised by how well New Girl's been received?
It's funny, there was just a special feeling on set when we were making the pilot, it was so fun and we had such a great collaborative rapport. I've only had that feeling a few times with movies that have gone on to be successful, but obviously you can't predict how things will go. I just feel really lucky that we get to keep doing it every week, because it's great writing and I love the cast.

Has filming New Girl been dramatically different from acting in movies?
No, because there isn't a live audience, it's like we're shooting a little movie every week. It's different in that you work with the same character all the time and you know the character arc lasts a lot longer. In a lot of ways, you'll be pulling out parts of yourself that are like the character, so you're able to let go week after week.

In a LiveCast on HelloGiggles (, the website you cofounded, you said your New Girl character, Jess, is like a 13-year-old version of yourself. Would you have enjoyed playing someone more sardonic, like Kat Dennings's character on 2 Broke Girls?
Um, no, that's not really like me. One thing I really love about [Jess is that she's] very much in my wheelhouse. I had never gotten to do this much physical comedy and madcap zany stuff, but with an emotional weight to it. It's not a joke-driven show, so it's fun to explore this character. I've played so many characters that are shy and sarcastic, but it's so not my personality at all. I think it's because I had brown hair and a low voice. It took a lot of leaps for me to play those kind of characters, and I felt like I burned out on them a little bit. It's nice that now people think of me as [Jess in New Girl], but then they'll catch [a movie] I did on TV and be like, "You're so different in Elf than you are in New Girl!"