It’s funny how one good role can change my idea of an actor or actress. I never really had a hate-on for Zooey Deschanel, I just categorized her as “one of those annoying woman-child actresses with an affected hipster shtick.” That wasn’t hate – it was just annoyance. Then I started watching The New Girl, and I never looked back. Are some of Zooey’s mannerisms annoying? Sure. Is her affected shtick grating at times? Yep. But what I love about The New Girl is that she makes fun of her shtick too, and I’m consistently impressed with the way Zooey-the-Celebrity’s issues are dealt with within the show. Anyway, I recommend The New Girl. It’s grown into one of my favorite comedies. So, Zooey takes the May cover of Marie Claire – I actually like the shot. The interview is decent too:
She‘s not good in interviews: “I don’t do well with direct questions,” she admits. Deschanel tends to think out loud, talking in rough drafts, starting a sentence, then stopping, then starting another one, crumpling that one up, too. “I’m a person who gets better with practice,” she says. “Getting older is awesome — because you get more practice.”
Finding a new kind of fame on television: “It’s harder to do normal things,” she says. No longer can she run blithely into Ralph’s for a head of lettuce or some paper towels. “I think that if you haven’t been to the grocery store in a really long time, it’s really easy to get very out of touch,” she says.
Zooey on the criticism that she’s playing a “stereotype of female meekness, for being too girly, too dorky, too Zooey.”: “People do think I’m weird,” she says. “I don’t know why.”
On her career: “I always knew there was nothing else I wanted to do,” she says. “I wanted to sing, perform, act.”
She was a chubby kid, and she was bullied: At 12 she was “chubby,” which made her a target of bullies. “I was ridiculed. I still have in me the same awareness when I was 12 and chubby and a girl was spitting in my face. I’m the same person. Certainly you change, and you change perspective, you have other experiences. But isn’t it funny – I can still remember when I was treated differently from the way I’m treated now…I really don’t know why she spit at me. I just talked to her. I guess I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. I remember I couldn’t believe it.” The moment was searing, scarring, but ultimately transformative. It inspired Deschanel to reimagine herself, and over the next year, she carefully, painstakingly recast her persona, becoming more open, more empathic, less “stubborn.” She also shed 30 pounds. “All of a sudden,” she says, “everybody treated me differently.”
On whether she’s dating: “Honestly, I’m just going through a divorce, so I don’t really think that’s something I want to get into now. I don’t have time to date. I literally – don’t-have-time.”
On not wanting children: “That’s never been my focus… My sister [Emily] was always very motherly, babysitting and stuff. I like kids, and I like being around kids – but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need…I like working. That’s what I like doing. I like to work.”
[From Marie Claire]
Yay! I love what she says about not wanting kids. I like that she didn’t hedge and play it “sweet” and talk about how it will totally happen for her. I love when women just come out and say that they have no motherhood ambitions. As for Zooey’s non-defense of “The New Girl backlash” and the backlash against Zooey’s shtick personally – well, The New Girl had an episode devoted to it, and it was wonderfully written. I would like to hear Zooey verbalize the substance of those arguments in interviews, but maybe she’s just tired of talking about it.
Photos courtesy of Marie Claire.