Deschanel has made a name for herself in both films and music
and now she's looking to tackle the small screen. Zooey will
play the lead role of Jess Day in Fox's new comedy New Girl,
that deals with a heartbroken girl who moves in with three guys
and how the four of them react and relate to one another.
PCM's Alicia had the chance to speak with Zooey during a
conference call and, considering everything she has going
on - from films to commercials to making music - , asked her
how she unwinds or de-stresses at the end of the day.
After laughing for a good twenty seconds, Zooey simply said,
"I don't. I go to sleep."
She quickly elaborated, "At the end of the day, I basically
eat and learn my lines at the same time. It's really just
trying to multi-task as best I can. Sometimes, you have to
scramble to get stuff done, or a lot of times you have to
scramble to get stuff done."
"But, I really love it because I love being busy,"
Zooey continued, "I'm a person who has a lot of energy.
So, yes, I don't really stop to rest or de-stress. I just
keep going. I figure that if you don't stop, then you'll never
notice how tired you are."
This little motto seems to be working quite well for Zooey,
so we'll just have to sit back and see what other magic she
produces. In the meantime, check out what else she had to
say on the call. You find it all below!
So, in your estimation, do you think it's better to be
the "it" girl, or to sort of fly under the radar?
How do you like being the center of everyone's entertainment
world these days?
It's good being both. I always think of myself, in my mind,
I always think of myself as an underdog type. But, I've been
called "it" girl so many times, at different points
in my career. So, I guess "it" girl is sort of a
flexible term. I mean either one, I just like working and
having a job. It's nice. But, I like that I have a show that
the network is really behind and that is really fun to work
on. So, I'm just happy.
When did you decide to do comedy? You're so good at it.
Was it like a natural thing for you, or did you kind of fall
into it, or how'd that come about?
I always liked doing comedy when I would do plays in school
always. I would play the comedic roles. I guess that's kind
of how it started. But, I always think of myself as comedic
actress. I guess later I found that I could do drama as well,
but I really started out thinking that I was more of a comedic
actress. That's what I really love to do. So, I'm super happy
and excited that I get to do funny stuff every week on the
I'm just thinking that Jessica's a very strong and very
unique character. I'm wondering if the writers based it in
part on your personality and character.
I think it was kind of actor/writer kismet situation, because
I know that Liz Meriwether, who created the show. I know it
wasn't written for me initially, but it was sort of a perfect
fit, you know. You go to a store and there's a dress that
just looks like it was made for you, but it wasn't. That's
sort of like what it was like. Then, now that I'm on the show,
it is written for me. It's wonderful to have all these great
writers writing stuff for me.
In addition to "it" girl, you're often also
associated with the pop culture term manic pixie dream girl.
Do you have any feelings about that classification and the
debate that goes along with it? It feels like that type is
both loved and hated in equal measure.
Well, I think that it's interesting. It's this weird phenomenon.
I don't know who coined that term and how it's weirdly broad
and specific at the same time, if you know what I mean. But,
I think that's sort of an example of if you think of a dream
girl, you think of someone that you're looking at from afar,
like someone who's like a weird modern dream girl.
But, I feel like in a way that's a very distant point of
view. That's not really what I want to portray necessarily.
I don't mind; I'm fine if that's for some of the parts I portray.
But, I would prefer to be a person that people relate to than
somebody that people feel distant from. But, sometimes, I
think a lot of that has to do with maybe being in films that
are from a more masculine point of view.
It's nice to be on a show that was created by a woman, starring
a woman even though there's guy humor in it, too. But, it's
just nice to have a little bit more intimacy, I guess, with
Do you think that the male perspective on relationships
would help someone who was getting over being cheated on?
I definitely think that in terms of this character. I think
that she's starting a whole new life. She's been in one mode
for a really long time. She's sort of living out the stuff
that should have happened in her late teens and early 20s
in her late 20s. So, I think in a weird way, she bypassed
all this stuff because she's with the same guy for a long
I think more specifically than generally, these guys are
helping her get over this experience, but not just that. It's
not just getting over the break-up. It's also finding her
way in a new life being a single woman in her late 20s.
I've never made up a theme song for myself, but all of
my dogs and my bird, they have theme songs. I was wondering
if you're the type of girl who would in real life be likely
to make up a theme song for yourself or if you actually have.
Yes, I actually did when I was seven. I made up a theme song
for myself. My parents still sing it to me. It's still embarrassing,
So, I was wondering what the adjustment to working on
a TV show has been like for you. Are you enjoying it? Have
you faced any difficulties in adjusting to working on a set?
I really have, I think, adjusted well because I just love
being busy. I love having a lot of content. I prefer to have
constant stimulation. So, I like going to set every day and
working with the same awesome people. I really like that,
even though it's really long hours and it's a lot to memorize.
It's really exciting and it's really fun. It's fast moving,
but I really love not waiting around. I like getting everything
done quickly. There's something really exhilarating about
it. So, I really enjoy that.
I also enjoy getting to develop a working relationship with
a group of people; that there's always a little bit of summer
camp sadness to doing a movie. If you're having a really good
time, it ends. Then, there's a certain amount of I think melancholy
to that. I like that doing a TV show, you have potential for
this to go on. So, that potential is a really nice thing.
I saw the episode also, and enjoyed it very much, especially
the character's few attempts at singing. And, was just wondering
if that's a hidden talent of that character? Will we be hearing
more from her in that regard?
Well, I think that she's not really, she's not a singer,
although that is something I do as a profession. I felt like
Jess should be-her singing comes out of pure self-expression.
I just didn't want her to be like Maria Callas or whatever,
Beyoncé. I just didn't want her to be a really great
I thought she should be whatever manner she tries to sing
in should match her mood at the time, and that she's not really
singing out of showing off her vocal togs as much as trying
to express something she can't express, and to express a certain
awkwardness. Yes, she sings a lot. That's one of her character
quirks. So, you will definitely hear a lot more weird random
I just wanted to chat a little bit about the future for
Jess, because so far in the pilot episode she is pretty distraught
by this break-up and it seems like she is going to be relying
on these guys to help her a lot. But, they maybe are not the
best equipped for that. So, how fast do things turn around
She's definitely distraught in the pilot, and the pilot's
a lot about the break-up. There is some stuff about the break-up.
But, it's more, I think, finding her way in the future is
more of the focus and less the getting over the break-up.
It's more the totally I'm used to being a single woman and
finding her way in that world. That is more the sort of territory
that we cover in the episodes to follow the pilot.