When Zooey Deschanel was a little girl, she listened to children’s music by Harry Nilsson, Carole King and others — and those songs remain on her playlist today.
So when the actress and She & Him singer was tapped to write the closing song for the new Winnie the Pooh movie, she sought to set that same kind of standard for her tune.
The 31-year-old is known for her quirky performances in films including (500) Days of Summer and Elf, as well as her musical career with M. Ward as part of the retro, folky-pop duo of She & Him.
Though considered left of the mainstream, she has a chance to connect with the masses this fall on The New Girl, a Fox TV comedy.
Deschanel talked with The Associated Press about all things Pooh, her new series and her next role.
Were you a big Winnie the Pooh fan?
I was. I feel like if you asked me when I first heard of Winnie the Pooh, I don’t remember, because it’s so much a part of my childhood. ... I feel like it would be weird if I didn’t love Winnie the Pooh.
Is writing for movies different from what you do with She & Him because of all the visual elements?
As far as lyrically, you want to hit the point and hit the themes without being too specific, because if you’re too specific, for me, No. 1, it’s very unsubtle. You have to walk a line lyrically ... I want it to feel like the movie without it being about the movie. You take the themes into account, but you’re not telling them what happens in the movie. They just saw the movie, they don’t need to be told what happened.
Are you excited about jumping into television?
I am. ... When I got the script, I thought, well, you know, it’s so rare, just even in the world of movies, to get a really great role, and to get a great role that I get to like, play for a long time, is so exciting, and I feel like, I just don’t get these kind of roles.
Has your sister Emily (who stars in Fox’s Bones) given you any advice about the world of television?
Yeah, she’s been really great and really generous about offering me advice, and we’re on the same network, so she knows everybody involved and everything, so she’s been a really great person to talk to in the whole experience.
- PHOTOS: What's Brewing in Steamy Hallows, the Harry Potter-Inspired Cafe19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures