TCA 2011: 'New Girl' Zooey Deschanel hearts downtown L.A.
When the actress-singer appeared Friday at the Television Critics Assn. media tour in Beverly Hills to promote her new Fox comedy, "New Girl," it wasn't long before she was asked what she loves about ... downtown L.A.
If you'll recall, Deschanel got a lashing from Times columnist Patt Morrison for supposedly dissing the metropolis during the recent royal palooza. Deschanel fired back in a blog post of her own, taking issue with Morrison's characterizations. Morrison then came back with another response. The back-and-forth had seemingly ended -- at least until it was brought up today.
"I didn’t actually make that statement," she said. "But it's cool. I love downtown L.A."
When probed to offer her favorite hangouts, Deschanel offered the following:
-- Disney Hall: "I've played many shows there."
-- Chinatown: "I love walking around Chinatown. Go get some dim sum. Lovely."
-- Angelus Plaza: A spot she's quite familiar with having shot scenes for her film "(500) Days of Summer" there.
"I've been downtown many times. I love all of L.A. And that is all I’m going to say about it."
She was more animated when discussing her new series, in which she plays Jess, a twentysomething girl scorned by her significant other and forced to move in with three single guys.
"I'd like to think [the part] was written for me," she said. Jess is quirky and awkward, has an obession with "Dirty Dancing" (particulary, the "Time of Your Life" finale moment) and a penchant for singing at random moments -- which comes naturally for Deschanel, who has released albums and was tapped to do the show's theme song.
But how long can Jess really be the "New Girl"?
"Ten seasons," Deschanel quipped.
That's a lot of "Time of Your Life" snippets. Bring it on.
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Zooey Deschanel in a scene from "New Girl," which premieres this fall. Credit: Fox