Zooey Deschanel is revealing what role convinced her to return to scripted television after taking a break once New Girl ended.
During a recently published interview with Vanity Fair, conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike, the actress said she decided to step away from acting temporarily to spend time with her two children. But she admitted that she also got so burned out from playing quirky Jess Day for seven seasons on the Fox comedy that she needed a break and even considered never returning to TV.
“It was a huge undertaking,” Deschanel added. “I couldn’t picture myself getting back into the game like that, especially not right away.”
Before New Girl, the actress was known for her roles in several movies, including 500 Days of Summer, Elf, Almost Famous, The Good Girl and Our Idiot Brother. So as she eased back into the industry, years after the Fox series ended in 2018, Deschanel decided to first take on some films, including Dreamin’ Wild and voicing Bridget in Trolls World Tour.
“I thought maybe I would just do movies, or movies and music,” she explained. “I needed to give myself the time to think about how much I could really take that on.”
But when an opportunity to star in season three of the Apple TV+ series Physical, she knew she couldn’t pass it up. Especially since she was already a fan of the show. She took on the dual role of Kelly Kilmartin, a rising celebrity exercise star who is also the ruthless inner monologue of Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne).
“I only do stuff that I’m really excited about,” Deschanel said. “I love the show! … Annie [Weisman], who created the show, is just a super talent. I’m a big fan of Rose Byrne. The whole cast is just so great.”
The actress added that she feels so lucky to have a “renewed passion” for acting, where she can focus on meaningful projects and collaborations.