Zooey Deschanel has acted in many major projects over the years, but few have the staying power of her hit sitcom New Girl. The series ran for seven successful seasons before going off the air in 2018. For many fans, New Girl remains one of the shining jewels of the television world, with clever characters, sharp dialogue, and hilarious situations. The actors who starred in the Fox series still have a lot of love for the show. In a March 2022 episode of rewatch podcast Welcome to Our Show, Deschanel and her co-star, Jake Johnson, discussed their chemistry in New Girl and the jokes they still maintain.
Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson played Jess and Nick in ‘New Girl’
Zooey Deschanel was fairly well-known when she was cast in New Girl in 2011. As the ditzy teacher Jess, Deschanel enjoyed a career resurgence. Her performance as the bubbly teacher was praised by critics as well as fans. One of the most enduring and exciting relationships in New Girl was the one between Jess and Nick, played by Jake Johnson.
Although they start the series as somewhat adversarial roommates, Jess and the bartender Nick evolve into close friends. Jess even helps Nick realize his potential, encouraging Nick to publish his book and resume his interest in a law career. Eventually, they form a romantic connection, and by the end of New Girl, Nick proposes to Jess in a romantic moment that made headlines.
What did Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel say about doing the same ‘bit’ for years?
In a recent episode of the iHeart podcast “Welcome to Our Show,” Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson discussed their relationship on the set of New Girl. “We’re still, over text, doing bits that we started on the first season of New Girl,” Deschanel said. Johnson revealed how one of his favorite “bits” involved Deschanel and himself pretending to be show business managers, competing to sign director Max Winkler’s dog to a show business contract. “That was one of my favorite bits, and it’s still going on today,” Deschanel said. “Ten years and going.”
Deschanel also said she’s tried to make those bits work with other people. But they don’t have the same resonance as her long-running jokes with Johnson, her co-star for several years.
The conflicting reports about Johnson and Deschanel’s relationship
Later on in the podcast, Johnson raved about the “genuine fun” that everyone on New Girl had with each other. Notably, the chemistry between Deschanel and Johnson was off the charts. Showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether claims the two actors were directed to stand far apart from each other in certain scenes because their chemistry was “too distracting.”
Interestingly enough, some industry insiders have reported that Deschanel and Johnson didn’t get along well off the set. Supposedly, they “secretly couldn’t stand each other,” reported OK Magazine. Allegedly, Deschanel believed that Johnson was jealous of the hefty paycheck she received for her work.
However, Deschanel and Johnson have always been kind and supportive of each other when spotted in public. And based on how they interacted on the podcast, the two couldn’t be on better terms. New Girl went off the air years ago. But it’s clear that the cast still has a lot of fondness for the show and each other.