Too much for TV! Zooey Deschanel revealed that she wasn’t allowed to have too many scenes with Jake Johnson on the first season of New Girl — even though their characters would eventually end up together.
The 42-year-old actress, who played Jessica Day on the Fox comedy, has been recapping the series on the podcast “Welcome to Our Show,” spilling on-set secrets with former costars Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone. Morris, 38, brought up a long-running rumor about the early connecting between Jess and Nick (Johnson) during the Monday, January 31, podcast episode.
“Is it true that there was so much chemistry between you and Jake in the beginning that you guys couldn’t be in the same shot together?” the Woke star asked Deschanel.
The Yes Man actress confirmed the rumor, claiming that the New Girl writers once pulled her aside and explained that they were worried about giving away Nick and Jess’ romance too early in the show’s run. “I remember them saying that,” she said. “That they were like, ‘Listen, you guys have such great chemistry. This is a series, we have to play this out over time, and we don’t want to put you guys in the same, like, story lines together.”
The She & Him singer continued: “I was like … ‘Isn’t that a good thing?'”
Deschanel and Johnson, 43, have previously discussed the writers’ attempts to keep their characters apart before New Girl came to an end in 2018.
“I feel like at first we would be put in a scene and they’d be like, ‘Too much chemistry!” the 500 Days of Summer star said during a PaleyFest panel in October 2012. “It’d just be, like, a normal scene and [the writers] would be like, ‘We do not want to develop this [relationship yet].'”
Johnson responded with a laugh, adding, “Like, [Nick would say],’ Jess you want some coffee?’ Too much chemistry!”
Though Nick and Jess became the show’s central relationship — even tying the knot in the seventh season — both the cast and crew wanted to make sure that fans didn’t get bored of seeing them as a couple. The Drinking Buddies actor, however, was rooting for them from day one.
“I always wanted them together. I wasn’t as excited about them being together for multiple episodes, but I always wanted them in the end to be together,” Johnson exclusively told Us Weekly in September 2021, comparing the characters’ relationship to Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) on Cheers.
The Stumptown alum added: “I think the battle for us was always, ‘How do we keep this thing going while you can’t repeat the goods?’ By we, I mean the writers. But Zooey — we texted all the time. Zooey and I were very in touch with what we thought about Nick and Jess. We were, like, very in it together from the start.”
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