27 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Zooey Deschanel And The Movies And Shows She's Worked On

by Ricardo Johnson

When asked about a New Girl reboot, she said, "I think we would, but it's hard to get everybody on the same page about it. But yeah, I think it's in the realm of possibility."

Sergio Necoechea / BuzzFeed

So, who's that girl? It's Zooey! Whether you know her as Jessica Day from  New Girl, one half of the band She Him, or even as a great human just trying to make the world a brighter place, Zooey Deschanel literally does it all. 

To celebrate her latest endeavor, Merryfield — an app that grants users rewards for purchasing from "better-for-you" and environmentally responsible brands — Zooey sat down with BuzzFeed to talk about a little bit of everything. Like, the importance of democratizing food access for everyone, and Zooey's new iHeartRadio podcast Welcome to Our Show. She even shared which New Girl props she still has hanging in her home! Here's everything we chatted about: 

1. What was it like reuniting with Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone for your iHeartRadio podcast Welcome to Our Show , and what made you want to do the it in the first place?

Well, I really miss them. I was with them every single day on the show for seven years. And I'm great friends with everybody. Max [Greenfield} and Jake [Johnson], too, and also Damon [Wayans Jr.]. It just happened to come together with Hannah and Lamorne. We just missed each other and thought it was a good opportunity to revisit all of our good times, and it's been so much fun getting to see them and doing this together.

2. I know it hasn't been that long since the New Girl series finale, but would you ever consider doing a reboot someday down the road?

I think we would, but it's hard to get everybody on the same page about it. But yeah, I think it's in the realm of possibility.

3. Do you think Jess and Nick would still be together today?

I think so. 

4. Has there been anything in your rewatch that you were surprised to see make the final cut?

I wouldn't say we were, like, so excited to see what made the cut per se, but I would definitely say that we shot way more than ever ended up on TV, like massive, massive, massive, massive amounts more. We would shoot — I think of a normal workweek, which would be 40 hours — we would be at work 80 hours a week. And that entire time we're shooting stuff. So it's hard to remember one specific thing. If you can find an actor that was shooting that much stuff that remembers exactly which scene they wanted in, I will be impressed. 

5. Did you keep anything from the set?

I did! You can see it. 

[Zooey then shifted her camera to show me a print from Jess's bedroom.]

That was in my room. I have something else, but it's in a different room. It's like a watermelon, a framed watermelon. And then I have one more thing. It's like a little vest that has, like, body parts, but, like, the small intestine and a heart. It was just, like, on Jess's [closet] door, as a part of the set dressing.

6. Have you ever caught someone on a plane watching a show or movie you're in?

All the time. Usually, it's New Girl, Elf, or 500 Days of Summer.

7. Back at the Met Gala in 2013, you decided to wear your bangs pushed back, and it became this wild moment that almost broke the internet. Did you ever anticipate that kind of response?

Not at all! Well, and I, a lot of times, just have my hair out of my face in my life, so that's what's funny. My family recognizes me without bangs. It's truly shocking to me, but I mean, it's funny. I did it, like, I took a picture of myself with, like, my hair, but in a middle part. Like this. 

[Zooey did, in fact, push her bangs back and show me her forehead.]

BuzzFeed: Who is she?!

[Laughs] Who is she?!

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

8. What's a role people would be surprised to find out you auditioned for?

I auditioned for everything when I first started; I'm pretty sure I auditioned for Lord of the Rings. 

BuzzFeed: Wow, that could've been an entirely different movie!

It would've been!

9. Do you have a favorite red carpet look you've worn?

I just went to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, and that one was pretty cool. Let me see if I have a picture.

BuzzFeed: I love that color!

Thank you! It's Christopher John Rogers. 

Lionel Hahn / Getty Images

10. What's the last show you binge watched?

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

11. If you could guest star on any TV show — currently airing or not — what would it be?

30 Rock. 

12. What's your wildest fan story?

Okay so, this woman came up to me. And she told me that I should tell my agents to dress me in different clothes because I looked 50 pounds heavier on TV. I was like, "Okay..." It's just straight-up rude, and she kept going further and further. I was more shocked that someone would go up to a person and say that. I'm not that shocked when people comment on pages [on the internet] and are totally rude because that's just what goes along with being anonymous online. But this was like, they came up to me and started talking to me. And I'm like, "You realize you're, like, talking to a person? Right?"

BuzzFeed: How long ago did this happen?

It was before New Girl. It was a miniseries called Tin Man. It was freezing [on set]. So we were really bundled up. We had, like, a lot of long underwear on. I was like, "Maybe that's what you're thinking?" And she's like, "No, no, you're so thin in person. You look so huge on television."

13. What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?

The best piece of advice that's been given to me is to always consider the source of what you're hearing. So, you know, you really only want to take something to heart if it's from someone you respect.

14. How did you first get involved with Merryfield?

It kind of goes way back. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was trying to eat really healthy. I was just shocked by how difficult it was to find information about food I was eating in stores, in restaurants, and just how it's like, you need a nutrition degree, and you need a lot of money. You need to have all the time in the world to go to the farmers' market and to be perfect. That was frustrating to me. Something I wanted to spend time doing was helping to democratize food access. So, it started with The Farm Project, and then Lettuce Grow, which I co-founded in 2016, and that's hydroponic growing so that people can grow food at home, but like on balconies, small spaces, with very little water, and very little effort. I think Merryfield was just one step further.

15. Do you have any tips for people just trying to make more sustainable, healthier choices, but they don't really know where to start?

I think when you plan ahead, you can definitely make the most out of all your groceries so that you're not wasting food. Even it's like, I've devoted a lot of my life to all this stuff, and I still will be like, "Ah, my avocado went bad on the counter!" But you know, you can put an avocado in the freezer. How you store your foods can make them last longer.

16. What's something you typically find yourself doing in between scenes on set?

I'm probably doing something work-related. Like, studying my lines or talking to somebody about the script or the scene we're shooting. Otherwise, I might be having a snack or just chatting with somebody. 

17. Do you have any go-to snacks from craft services?

I usually just have an apple and peanut butter or almond butter.

18. Go-to karaoke song?

I have lots of them. I often do Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About."

19. If you could invite any three people over for a dinner party, who would you choose?

My boyfriend and parents. 

20. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

I always say Macaulay Culkin, because he was, like, the same age as me. And I didn't know anybody else my age. And I was like, "He's funny!" I was never really crushing on celebrities though. 

21. Name a celebrity on your bucket list to work with in a project.

I purposely try not to do that because I always feel like jinxing it or something.

22. What's a project of yours that you'd love to rewatch right now?

[Laughs] Well, I'm watching New Girl because that's my job now. 

23. Has there been a celebrity that you've been the most starstruck by?

I don't get that starstruck. But I will say, Tom Ford. I haven't seen them in a long time. But I used to see him around a lot, and I feel like he's just so cool.

24. What's a show or movie that made you want to become an actor?

The Wizard of Oz. 

25. If you were to lose your celebrity status for 24 hours, what would be the first thing that you'd want to do?

I think probably just, like, go to Disneyland. Just have fun. Just hanging out in a big crowd of people with nobody noticing me. 

26. If you could go back in time and watch any movie or read any book for the first time, what would it be?

I would watch The Sound of Music.

BuzzFeed: I love that movie!

Imagine never having seen it!

27. And finally, if all of your previous characters were in a room together, who do you think would get along the best?

Oh, that's interesting. I think Jess gets along with everybody. I'm really, like, thinking about every single one. But I mean, they're... I think it would be probably Jess trying really hard to be friends with a lot of them. And a lot of them feeling slightly cooler than Jess.