‘New Girl’: Nick and Schmidt’s On-Screen Chemistry Was Cultivated Off-Screen

New Girl is a cult classic sitcom that helped to revitalize Zooey Deschanel’s career and introduced viewers everywhere to a whole host of quirky, relatable characters. Although the series was hinged on a variety of comic situations, it also dealt with some serious issues throughout its run on television, including the perils of finding love in your thirties, establishing a new career, and difficulties holding on to friendships. One friendship that stood the test of time in New Girl, however, is the long-standing bromance between Nick and Schmidt — two roommates who go through ups and downs, but always manage to find common ground. 

When did ‘New Girl’ debut on television?

L-R: Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in 'New Girl.'
L-R: Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in ‘New Girl.’ | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

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New Girl premiered on television in 2011, shot as a single-camera comedy. Starring Zooey Deschanel as Jess, a quirky teacher who moves into a loft with three male roommates, the series was conceived as an ensemble and featured a wide variety of guest stars over the years.

New Girl might have been about characters dealing with life in their thirties, but viewers of all ages found something to enjoy in the hilarious hijinks and heartwarming exploits of Jess and her friends.

New Girl captured attention from critics as well, with many praising the whip-sharp writing and clever characterizations. Deschanel received praise for her work as Jess, a character unlike any that had been seen on television before.

Additionally, the supporting cast was often called out for their contributions — most notably, Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield as Nick Miller and Winston Schmidt, Jess’s two male roommates. 

Who are the actors who played Nick and Schmidt?

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Johnson played Nick Miller in New Girl, a bartender who struggles with romantic relationships. Over the course of the series, Nick and Jess develop feelings for each other — and while the path to true love doesn’t always run smoothly, by the time the series finale rolled around in early 2018, fans were heavily invested in Nick and Jess’s dynamic.

Winston Schmidt, played by Greenfield, is a marketing associate who has overcome some traumas in his childhood to be a flirtatious, charming ladies man. Together, Schmidt and Nick form a dynamic team, collaborating on everything from parties to dates.

Over the years, Nick and Schmidt seemed to grow ever closer, with Schmidt forming the backbone of the bromance, supporting Nick in every hair-brained scheme and romance gone wrong. For many fans, their friendship was one of the best parts of New Girl, right up until the finale episode. 

Nick and Schmidt’s bromance was built organically

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New Girl went off the air in early 2018, but for many fans, the show remains as fresh and as funny as ever. This can partially be attributed to the chemistry of the actors, helped in no small part by the real-life dynamic between Johnson and Winston Schmidt.

According to Johnson, the two actors developed a deep friendship well before their bromance was truly established onscreen. The actor revealed in a Zoom chat session that Greenfield started hanging out in his trailer and that in short order, he was “always hanging out on my couch.” He went on to detail how they started spending “every second at work together,” taking the “energy” from their friendship right to the set for filming.

Eventually, their deep friendship started affecting storylines — and according to Heatworld, Greenfield and Johnson started improvising enough funny kissing scenes between them that showrunners began writing Schmidt-Nick kisses into the script. With rumors of an eventual New Girl reunion floating around, there’s a distinct possibility that fans could get to relive that fun at some point in the future.