15 New Girl Behind-The-Scenes Facts
New Girl is a comfort show at this point no doubt about it. The story of a twee girl who moves in with some whacky bachelor roommates leads to so many zany situations, you'll want to have it playing in the background while you nap for the rest of your life. Here are 15 facts about everyone's favorite Los Angeles apartment.
The Production Had Been Sued For Intellectual Property Theft
Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold claimed that the pilot episode of New Girl was stolen from their proposed pilot called, Square One. Their pilot also told the story of a woman who is kicked out of her home and forced to live with some bachelors. While the ideas are similar, aren’t all sitcoms just ways of trying to get hot people into an apartment together? Not THAT original. The lawsuit stuck around for about 2 years until a judge ruled it was just a case of parallel thinking.
Prince had some specific demands when he agreed to appear in the episode “Prince,” which largely takes place inside the singer's home. Prince had opinions on where and what art should be hung, what the name of the non-speaking chef should be, hairstyles, the linens on the bed, and what Zooey Deschanel should be wearing in the scenes. He even had a painting flown in from Minnesota to hang on the wall.
It Wasn’t Always Called New Girl
The original title for the show was Chicks and Dicks. Elizabeth Meriwether had to change the name once it was picked up by Fox, or else your mom never would have let you watch it.
The character of Jess is actually based on the series’ creator Elizabeth Meriwether, but often times Meriwether will say that in the show, Jess’s character is heavily influenced by Diane Keaton. Meriwether also cites Tamsin Greig’s character from the sitcom Green Wing as a source of inspiration.
Deschanel’s Pregnancy And The Show
Zooey Deschanel became pregnant toward the end of the filming of the fourth season, which meant the production had to make a risky decision and immediately begin filming season five, even though it hadn’t officially been picked up. Meriwether had no desire to write a pregnancy for Jess into the show, so she hedged her bets and filmed it, which luckily paid off, as it was renewed. This is the reason the jury duty storyline was written, to allow Jess to be absent from the plot.
Jake Johnson Had To Lose 15 Pounds To Play Nick
Johnson said after he got the part he and his wife went to get Mexican food to celebrate." Johnson told The Advocate, "In the car, I was already thinking about what I was going to order, I was going to get chips and guacamole, a blended margarita, a quesadilla for the table, and a chicken burrito for me. I knew she was going to get tacos, so I figured we’d do a little mix and match on that. Then I got a call from my manager, who told me I needed to lose 15 pounds before we started shooting. So when I got to the restaurant I had chicken salad with no dressing."
Why Coach Left
Damon Wayans Jr. was a part of the cast of the sitcom “Happy Endings” but agreed to join the cast of New Girl as he was certain Happy Endings would not be picked up for another season. To his surprise, the show was renewed, meaning he contractually had to return and leave New Girl after the pilot episode.
Zooey and Damon Go Way Back
Damon Wayans Jr. and Zooey Deschanel actually went to high school together, at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California.
Max Greenfield Wanted Schmidt To Be Less Douchey
Max Greenfield who played Winston Schmidt in the series began to get attached to the character and went to the executive producer Jake Kasdan and asked to give his character more dimension than just a douche who takes his shirt off. Greenfield recounts that he said, “Let’s just try to make this character as not-douchey as possible,” to which Kasdan responded, “Well, just don’t play him douchey.”
Jake Johnson Pitched The Idea Of Tran
Johnson texted Meriwether late at night with a story pitch, as he has on several occasions, according to Meriwether. Johnson asked, “What if I have a Vietnamese friend in a park and he doesn’t speak English, and his family gets really mad at me for hanging out with him.”
Meriwether Choreographed Jess And Nick’s First Kiss
Meriwether told the New York Times, “Embarrassingly, I actually did try to tell them how to kiss. I walked up to Jake Johnson between takes and said: ‘I want you to kind of take her, and then do this—’ (I demonstrated by making my fingers kiss each other) ‘Then wait and do that again, but kind of like this—’ (more finger kissing). He just stared at me for a beat, and then, to his credit, nodded and said, ‘I think I got it.’”
The Original Idea For The First Kiss
Originally the plan for the True American episode “Cooler” was to have Jess kiss Schmidt. However, the writers were conflicted about the decision so Meriwether decided to have Jess kiss Nick just a week before shooting. Meriwether explained, “We were right on the edge of starting to spin our wheels with their story, and holding out any longer felt like not an honest thing. It felt exciting to give ourselves this challenge of how are they going to get out of this or how is this going to affect everything."
The Rules Behind True American
When asked about the rules of True American, Meriwether told AV Club, ”I don’t think it will be easier to comprehend. Our goal is the opposite, actually, to make it harder and harder and harder to understand.” Lamorne Morris told EW, "Obviously, there are no rules for True American. It's just an excuse for a bunch of alcoholics to get together and say 'But we're having fun, we're playing a game!' Nah, y'all are alcoholics. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
There Is A Rewatch Podcast
Zooey Deschanel (Jess), Hannah Simone (Cece), and Lamorne Morris (Winston) have started a rewatch podcast of the entire series called, “Welcome To Our Show,” where the actors answer questions from fans, interview writers and cast, and question the episodes themselves.
Zooey Deschanel Wrote The Theme Song
When Deschanel was cast for the pilot Meriwether told Zooey that Jess sees herself as the main character of a show in her head, so Deschanel asked to write the theme song in that vein. The line “Who’s that girl? It’s Jess” was in the script before Deschanel wrote the theme song, so she used it as her big point of inspiration.
She added, “Melodically, I wanted it to feel catchy … like a little ear worm. I grew up watching Nick at Nite, and there was Mary Tyler Moore That Girl, that era of theme songs and a girl making it on her own. That's what we always thought Jess was thinking when she has this in her head."
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