‘New Girl’ Interview: Hannah Simone On Favorite Cece Moments, That Addicting Intro Song

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Tuesday night television has never been more adorkable. Each week there’s a rush to catch the latest New Girl on FOX with a little “It’s Jess!” being sung all the way home. Not to offend any other series (inevitably placing my dollar bill in the douchebag jar) but waiting to see what shenanigans a group of friends are up to next has never felt more natural.

With Jess, Cece, Schmidt, Nick and Winston, it’s as if we’re hanging out alongside them. (In say moments like the football match verse the “Defying Gravity” car moment or when Schmidt decides to list a bunch of cheeses to turn on Cece.) It’s a show that we want to be a part of because well—they have a way of just creating the most ridiculous yet entertaining moments in nighttime television.

Do we not recall the True American Drinking Game? Send over game rules please and thank you.

As the Schmidt one-liners come right after the other, viewers are also left with bizarre yet realistic relationships. Up ahead Schmidt and Cece will be finding out some “late” news and according to Hannah Simone, even she was surprised by how some of the characters react when a possible Schmidt offspring may be on the way. When I recently chatted with the stunning actress she also revealed what she thinks about Schmidt and Cece as a couple, what her favorite moment with Zooey Deschanel has been and even teases the Nick and Jess storyline.

More importantly, is there really a douchebag jar on set and what’s up with that insanely addicting intro song? Needless to say, it was so exciting to speak to Hannah that a little bit of Jess nervousness could have surfaced at any moment.

 

OLOGY: Congrats on the second season! How did you all celebrate?

HANNAH SIMONE: We were all actually downtown on a pier shooting the promos for the second season so we found out together, which was amazing! It was a wonderful feeling. We went around and hugged each other and congratulated each other. It’s just so exciting that we get to do it all over again. It’s amazing.

It could be said that the show is a hit because of the obvious chemistry you all have together. Did you spend a lot of time together before shooting to make it that comfortable?

Well we didn’t do any bonding corporate sessions or anything like that before we did the show. [Laughs] I think you know when you get something like this and the workload is so intense that you—it’s like getting thrown on an island with a bunch of people. You just do bond and connect. You just do because you’re going through all of it together. It just was a natural thing and you know Zooey is amazing. She auditioned every single person herself so I think she wanted to make sure that the chemistry was real because that just makes it easier for everyone. So we all knew going in—because we all met each other in auditions—that the group just naturally clicked.

What’s been one of your favorite moments with the cast, on or off set?

We spend all of our days on set! [Laughs] You know that saying we bring our work to bed, you know what I mean? We spend every waking moment on set so we’re together all the time. I think one of my favorite moments—there’s a scene in the Christmas episode where Zooey and me are crying in the bathroom hiding from our terrible dates and avoiding reality of boys. We’re just sitting on a bathroom floor because the only safe place at a party with your girlfriend is in the girl’s bathroom! And just eating cookies and trying to figure it out, I loved that moment. I thought it was so funny and so true. Jess giving me some hard truths because she’s watching me maybe not making the best choices and I give her some. I think that to me was just the epitome of why Jess and Cece are best friends.

Now to that douchebag jar. Is that something the cast and crew has and contributes to off set by any chance?

[Laughs] No, but maybe we should because we would probably all be millionaires! No, it’s not something we do off set I think. It’s so funny and so amazing how that caught on. I think the show is so great because it’s just on a string of jokes. It’s about really connecting to what we all can really relate to.

Do you have a guess at who would have the most and least money in it?

No, I think we all poke fun at each other and do bits with each other. I think if you saw the show’s Paleyfest you see Max [Greenfield] who play’s Schmidt just literally take out his whole wallet and dump all his money into the jar. There are moments that people will scream out and call us out on our stuff.

It must be so exciting to be one of the two females on this hit show with a budding romance with such a character. What do you think about this Schmidt and Cece storyline?

Oh my God. I think with Cece and Schmidt I really loved it when I saw that the storyline was going to go there. I think they are the epitome of the modern day relationship that people navigate. Where physical intimacy is easy and emotional intimacy is hard. I think that’s what I love about these characters. Most of the time whenever you see a story like that on screen they fell in love and they got together. Or they had feelings and flirted and flirted but could never admit it and then finally admitted to how they felt about each other and then got together. Deep down you know that she probably cares about him but that’s way scarier than just hooking up whenever she feels like it. I love how that relationship is like that. I think Cece likes Schmidt just because they have that connection. You can’t explain whom you fall for in life. I think they just click on some level. They both have this very strong tough exterior to the world and the moment I knew I was like, ‘Oh, poor Cece. She is in trouble!’ When Cece lets him come sleep in her bed with her and they just hold hands. I was like, ‘Oh, she’s toast.’

So word has it Cece gets a pregnancy scare! Schmidt definitely seems like he would have a lot of funny baby name suggestions for that moment.

[Laughs] Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t say scare but there’s a whole pregnancy situation on the show. We get the scripts literally days before we shoot so we’re all just a few steps ahead of the fans of the show. We want to know what happens next week too! So when we got this one we were like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ I think it was amazing to watch how all the characters reacted and I was very surprised to see how several of the characters handled it. It wasn’t how I expected it.

Like maybe Jess and the guys would freak out a little bit but they didn’t?

Or vice versa. I don’t want to tell you because I don’t want to ruin the show for you! I just love how the writers on this show don’t go by a paint by numbers approach to these characters because human beings aren’t like that. We’re complicated. Human beings are complicated and I like that they keep that essence of proof in these characters.

Well, there’s so much to keep us entertained with and yet there will always be that lingering storyline between Jess and Nick. How do you think Cece would react if they ever got together? Them and you and Schmidt would be a hilarious double date scenario.

[Laughs] They would be an amazing double date! In the episode “Cece Crashes” she calls Jess on the fact that Nick likes her and she thinks Jess got jealous when she was dancing in the living room. I think she pushed her for it. They had a big fight, a physical fight, in the living room.  You know what? Just stop. Stop just sitting there and waiting for things to happen. Go get your man.

It’s true!

And Jess made a really good point where she was like, ‘Look, I don’t know if I want that yet. I just came out of a really hard relationship. I don’t know. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not sure yet so I don’t need to just dive in to some guy because I think he’s cute for a second or two.’ And I think that’s really where they got into it. Again, that’s why I love this show so much. There’s this little Nick and Jess tension that’s sort of played throughout the show but in real life it plays how it would. Both of those characters have come out of really big, intense and complicated relationships where they were cheated on or they weren’t treated well. That’s a lot for a person to deal with so if you just jumped right in to a relationship after that you know that one’s not going to end well. They are taking care of themselves, which is great.

And lastly, that intro song is so addicting! Do you find yourself humming along to it a lot on set? Zooey is a singer after all.

I catch the crew all the time humming that song, which is really funny! It really is an amazing song. She’s an incredible songwriter. She’s an incredible lyricist. Incredible. So I find myself singing it. I remember when they released what the theme song was going to be. It’s something that you just catch yourself humming while you’re brushing your teeth. It’s like a part of my brain now. I’m happy though because when you think of all the great sitcoms now like the Golden Girls you know it at a drop of a hat. I think that having an opening theme song–we were all hoping it was going to be good, and it’s great and it is and that’s such a credit to her.

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