‘New Girl’: Zooey Deschanel Said She ‘Felt Violated’ by the Show’s Original Title and Almost Didn’t Read the Script

Can you imagine anyone besides Zooey Deschanel playing the part of Jessica Day on New Girl? Deschanel once shared how she almost didn’t read the script when she got it because the show had a very NSFW original name.

Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, and Lamorne Morris on ' New Girl'
Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, and Lamorne Morris on ‘ New Girl’ | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

The original name of ‘New Girl’ was a turn off to Deschanel

Deschanel received the script for the Fox series and, when she first saw the title, she thought she’d pass on it based on the name alone. Thankfully, she gave it a chance.

“When I first got the script, I was like, ‘I’m not reading something called ‘Chicks & Dicks,’” she told StarTribune in 2018. “I felt violated just looking at the title. This does not sound like it’s going to end well. But it was so funny.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

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Zooey Deschanel was perfect for the part, according to the casting directors

Seth Yanklewitz, who helped cast New Girl, shared with Backstage in a 2012 interview how he felt Deschanel was the right choice for the role.

“Zooey is somebody that my then-partner Juel Bestrop and I always tried to cast,” he explained. “Because she’s so funny and so expressive and so amazing and talented and fits the world of the comedy that we did.”

He continued, “As far back as eight, nine years ago, I just fell in love with her and always have tried to cast her. So yeah she was absolutely on our original list and it sort of was kismet how her manager read it and called into Fox and it all just came together within a week.”

Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone shared their favorite ‘New Girl’ scenes

In a 2016 interview with Glamour, Zooey Deschanel and co-star Hannah Simone reminisced about their favorite scenes from the series.

Deschanel chose a Halloween episode, explaining, “Jess drank all this whiskey and kept saying, ‘Batmobile.’ I love that scene. It was just so random and weird and just came out of the moment. We kept doing it over and over again, and they kept it all in there. So much of our stuff has to get cut down for time, so it was nice that all of it ended up in there.”

Simone chose a Jess and CeCe moment from the season 1 Christmas episode as her favorite “when Jess and Cece lock themselves in the bathroom and eat cookies and avoid their dates.” She explained, “I thought it was the most relatable, and it was funny and showed the sisterhood. I really dug it.”

The experience was special to Deschanel

Their favorite moments aside, Deschanel looked back on her series run with fondness, telling StarTribune how she and the cast really bonded in a special way.

“It’s been like high school, but longer,” Deschanel explained. “All my professional experiences before this one had been limited to the run of a movie. I’ve gotten to work with all of these people through so many life changes.

She added, “I feel this sense of camaraderie that I’ve never felt before and I don’t know if I’ll ever have again.”