Zooey Deschanel Shares An Actor’s Very ‘Memorable’ Audition For Schmidt On ‘New Girl’

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Fox’s New Girl will air its series finale Tuesday night after a seven-season run. Actress Zooey Deschanel, who plays Jess, sat down with Entertainment Weekly and shared some of her fondest memories of her time as part of the cast.

Deschanel recalled the time Silicon Valley’s T.J. Miller auditioned to play Schmidt, who she said took the “douchebag jar” bit too far.

He insisted he wanted to read for Schmidt, and Schmidt had this scene where he took off his shirt. He was like, ‘Excuse me for a second,’ so he walked out and came back with his shirt off, and he had completely covered himself in an entire bottle of baby oil… so that was memorable.

The actress also reminisced about “True Americans,” a drinking game on the show that involves the cast getting drunk while playing Candy Land. Deschanel said that while it may look fun, having to wrangle the whole cast for a scene really prolongs the shooting time. And they shot the game without real alcohol.

We’d always be like, ‘Oh, noooo…I mean, it’s fun, no doubt, but everyone kind of dreads the scenes where everyone’s in the room. They take forever to shoot.

Deschanel also talked about the show’s celebrity supporters. The late singer (formally known as) Prince famously cast himself in an episode of season 3, and author Judy Blume wrote a tribute to Deschanel in 2011. But there are other famous personalities that love the show. “Jon Stewart was binge-watching it,” she said. And he’s not alone.

New Girl was also one of those shows people caught onto after it had been on the air for quite some time. People often became fans of the show by watching it on streaming services like Netflix.

Because the show is up on streaming platforms, kids will watch it, and they won’t even know that it’s not new. Someone was saying to me that their teenage daughter doesn’t even know that the episodes they’re watching are 7 years old! There are new fans all the time, and I’m always surprised.

She also shared her thoughts on being “adorkable,” a term the network coined for her character.

It is what it is… it wouldn’t be my first choice of a word to describe myself, but I can separate myself from the characters I play… It created both negative and positive attention for the show, and I think that’s exactly what it was meant to do. If it was just ‘cool,’ it might not have stirred people’s emotions as much. So, I think it was a really brilliant marketing campaign.

As for Tuesday’s finale, Deschanel said that it will be “unexpected,” and that she would prefer if it had a sad, dark ending.

I always thought the show should have a really sad ending. It could have been a cool choice to go really dark.