Zooey Deschanel, Liz Meriwether: Meet the women behind ‘New Girl’

Zooey Deschanel stars as Jess in “New Girl,” airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Due to the MLB playoffs, this week’s new episode will air tomorrow at 9:30 p.m.

Jess, the titular “New Girl” in Fox’s new hit comedy, is one of a kind — she off-handedly references “Lord of the Rings,” constantly sings to herself and does this little “hubba hubba” thing with her glasses when she sees a cute guy. But bringing Jess to life took the work of two quirky kindred spirits, “New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel and series creator Liz Meriwether.

The women could be sisters. At a press event before the show’s premiere, the pair both dress in a sophisticated-cool, “oh, I just found this at the vintage shop” style, exchanging rapid-fire compliments that make the other equally excited and adorably embarrassed.

“Liz and I are, like, connected. So when your souls are connected, you’re meant to do a show together,” Deschanel says.

“I didn’t think I could, you know, find somebody that’s as weird as I am,” Meriwether interjects. “The first time that she came in [to audition], the second she opened her mouth, everybody was, like, ‘This is a perfect match of character and actress.’”

“When I read it,” Deschanel adds, not missing a beat, “I was like, ‘I obviously need to play this part. This is me.’ I mean, not actually me, but it is a part of me, a secret part. … And if there’s any character I want to play forever and ever and ever, it’s this one. High five, Liz.”

“Ah, I’m going to cry,” Meriwether answers.

With a song in her heart:?Why Jess can’t stop singing

Zooey Deschanel’s other gig is as one half of the band She & Him (she sings and plays piano and ukulele). Music plays a big part in “New Girl” — the theme to “Dirty Dancing” is featured in the pilot episode, and Jess often breaks out into little ditties. But don’t expect to see Jess auditioning for an “X Factor”-like show in an upcoming episode.

“Jess is not a singer because she … thinks she’s, like, a great singer,” Deschanel explains. “It’s just part of how she expresses herself.”

“She sings when she doesn’t know what to say,” series creator Liz Meriwether adds. “We kind of play with it, like she likes to sing in different styles depending upon her mood and the moment.”

Examples? “Ethel Merman, a little jazz standard, a little heavy metal,” Deschanel hints.

The plot

Zooey Deschanel plays Jess, a smart, goofy girl who moves in with three guys after a bad breakup. The men welcome their new roomie in a little sister kind of way, trying to help her tone down her dorky tendencies and get back in the dating game.
   
“[Jess is] someone who expresses her emotions all the time … which I think is a really great contrast with the other characters, who are less in touch with their emotions,” Deschanel says. “A lot of the comedy comes out of that juxtaposition.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.