When 500 Days Of Summer was released in July of 2009, the movie introduced people to a new perspective on relationships, and fuelled the concept of the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" role for women in film. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a character type that exists to teach protagonists to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures, as described by TV Tropes.
By the time 500 Days Of Summer came out, bubbly and inspiring Zooey had already been acting in hit movies for a decade and contributed to multiple avenues in the business, giving her legions of new fans many reasons to appreciate Zooey's craft. Her positive personality and sweet behaviour carries so much of a universal appeal to so many different audiences, giving her many reasons to have her moment in the spotlight.
Not only has Zooey played one of the most memorable roles in independent film over the last decade, she's half of the popular indie band She & Him. She also provided us with one of the funniest characters on television, the always-positive Kindergarten teacher Jessica Day from the hit comedy show New Girl. But what about Zooey, herself? What do we know about the woman behind her multiple quirky characters and the catchy pop music tinged with sweet sounds of the ukulele? Read on!
20 Her Daughter Dislikes Her Singing
Reminiscent of a Disney princess, Zooey Deschanel's voice is just as recognizable as her memorable filmography! She has sung in a number of her films and is also known as one half of She & Him, but there's a certain someone who isn't a fan of Zooey's singing voice, and she happens to be of kin.
Zooey stopped by the Jimmy Kimmel Show and hilariously detailed the story of her eldest daughter's distaste for her singing voice. She hopes her role as the iconic Disney princess Belle in a production of Beauty and the Beast will change her daughter's mind, as Hello Giggles reports.
19 Zooey's Style Secret Is Practical
Zooey's long been known for her eye-catching wardrobe; her looks have become iconic and easy to emulate. Zooey understands the extent of how important her wardrobe is but she has a different purpose for her clothing choices - and it's not about fashion.
It's helpful to be prepared for the unexpected, and Zooey has had some practice! Her whole mantra for style, as she told Conan O'Brien in 2013, is to "dress so you can make a quick getaway." Very specific, Zooey!
Just in case of an unexpected event occurring, she believes your clothes shouldn't be holding you back. Makes sense.
18 Don't Call Her 'Adorkable'
You've probably heard a lot of conversation about Zooey Deschanel and her famous character on New Girl being described as "adorkable" as a reflection of her personality, which is heavily focused on her unwavering ability to be positive. Public response regarding Jess's constant positive attitude has been mixed during the entirety of the show's run, as The Atlantic reports, so much so that Zooey herself is frequently mentioned alongside the term.
Zooey is aware of the association, and she'd like to disassociate herself with the word as much as possible. She says she "tries to stay away from that certain thing," according to Huffington Post.
17 Zooey's Style Inspo Is A Vintage Style Icon
If you haven't heard Diane Keaton's name, there's a strong chance you've seen her face and her iconic clothing style. In the 1970s, Keaton rose to fame in film and in fashion with her role in the popular movie Annie Hall, directed by Woody Allen.
Annie's clothing was revolutionary at the time. She preferred to wear clothing that was more on the subdued side, which reflected her quiet behaviour as a singer. If you compare Diane's performance to Zooey's overall style, you may see some similarities!
When Zooey was profiled by Refinery29, she revealed her style icon is Diane Keaton.
16 Zooey Puts The 'Life' In Lifestyle
Zooey Deschanel's signature character from New Girl is always known for her bright and crafty behaviour. One of Zooey's crowning career moments has all of the creativity and positivity her characters have but has actually taken place off-screen. The actress launched a website which caters to lifestyle topics geared toward millennials. The essays read like a hug from an older and all-knowing older sister.
Zooey's goal is to empower younger girls "to be stronger people," according to Bustle.
15 'She' Is A Songwriter In A Band
If you thought Zooey Deschanel's performance in the karaoke scene of 500 Days Of Summer was charming, and you're in search for more of Zooey's angelic voice, look no further than She & Him, the band Zooey performs in, alongside the musician M. Ward!
She & Him has been an integral part of Zooey's career for a long time, as All Music reports. The band formed in 2006 and their debut album is filled with positively sunny pop songs. The band has gone on to release several more full-length albums, including two volumes of Christmas music. Jessica Day would approve!
14 Her Name Comes From Literature Love
The origin of someone's name can be extremely telling. You have the opportunity to know so much about a person's untold story you wouldn't know otherwise. For Zooey, the inspiration behind her name comes from a book that has gone on to be a legendary piece of literature.
Have you heard of the book Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger? Zooey Deschanel has, and she has an important connection with the classic story. As she told Entertainment Weekly, she was named after that novel.
13 Her Characters Are Her Main Motivation
As a moviegoer, we want to get lost in the stories we've invested in on the big screen. It helps a lot when we learn the actors and actresses are just as invested in delivering a performance to viewers they'll remember for ages! Zooey Deschanel understands the certain type of magic her fans feel after watching her act on the big screen, and she's prepared to give it her all with every performance.
Zooey detailed her motivation in an interview with the Orange County Register, saying, "I’ve had a protective instinct toward all the characters I’ve played."
12 She's A Songwriter's Muse
In the circles of independent art, Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel could probably be mentioned in a six degrees of separation scenario. Ben Gibbard is known for his work as the frontman of the legendary indie band, Death Cab For Cutie, whose music wouldn't sound out of place in a Zooey Deschanel movie. Zooey and Ben were once a real-life couple and were married from 2009 to 2012, as Spin reports.
Once the couple unfortunately divorced, Ben found inspiration for the band's next record called Kintsugi, which happened to be the first Death Cab For Cutie record since the pair ended their relationship. Was it inspired by his relationship with Zooey? Probably. He told Billboard,
"I've always written about my life and the lives of people around me, and how everything intersects."
11 Her Daughter's Quirky Name Has Meaning
What's in a name? Zooey and her husband Jacob Pechenik sought a very specific name for their daughter, even though it might not seem so at first glance.
Zooey's first child goes by the name Elsie Otter, which definitely sounds like a Deschanel-approved name for a little one. In an interview with Ellen, Zooey talked about wanting to choose a first name that sounded timeless, mentioning that many grandmothers are called Elsie. When it came to Elsie's middle name, however, Zooey joked it could be "wild," as Elite Daily reports. Seems they gave it quite a bit of thought.
10 She Loves Bonding With Her Kiddos Over Treats
In an early episode of New Girl, Jess mentions how much she loves to bake in order to relax and it turns out Jess's real-life counterpart loves to bake as well. The actress told Us Weekly how much she enjoys baking as a "bonding experience" with her two children.
Her children's roles in her baking sessions really add up to being an integral part of the whole process. She said, "Kids like to sample things, and we'll have a little plate, and I'll put them out separately so my daughter can try." There's no shortage of sweet treats!
9 Zooey's A Hopeless Romantic
Zooey's breakout role in 500 Days Of Summer was a film which became known for being an unconventional romance. Her character's views on love were the opposite of her leading man's, and unfortunately, Summer and Tom's relationship didn't work out.
Having conflicting views on love and romance can potentially spell doom for a couple, but luckily for Zooey's real-life love life, that's certainly not the case. Zooey's vision of true love is one tinged with hilarity, and a union she'll fight for. She tells Parade that love is "absolutely worth it," like her love with Jacob Pechenik.
8 She's A Music Video Veteran
She & Him has made a number of music videos and it looks like Zooey seems comfortable as the focus of them. She's had practice, though! Years before She & Him formed, Zooey appeared in videos for other artists, specifically for The Offspring and their song, "She's Got Issues," as Noisey reports.
If you scratched your head after reading Zooey Deschanel and The Offspring in the same sentence, you're not alone! She rocked some bright red hair in the video, which means you might have to take a second glance to be sure it's her.
7 Her Mother Starred In A 'Peak' TV Show
Decades before Zooey Deschanel became a popular culture staple for her work on New Girl and legendary films like Almost Famous, her family kept the metaphorical pop culture seat warm for their daughter. Zooey's mother may look familiar to fans of cult television because she had a starring role on the hit show Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks was only on the air for two seasons, where Mary-Jo Deschanel played Donna Hayward's mother, Eileen Hayward.
Twin Peaks made an impression on the world, and it did for Zooey, too. Because of its spooky content, she wasn't allowed to watch many episodes, she told Jimmy Kimmel, as Buzzfeed reports.
6 She Follows The Yellow Brick Road
There are generations of women in entertainment who all have beautiful voices to go along with their angelic images of beauty. Some Hollywood veterans come to mind, like Judy Garland, who was known for her remarkable singing voice along with her striking beauty, and Garland's persona captivated a young Zooey Deschanel. In fact, she's one of her earliest influences.
Zooey talked to Nylon Magazine about her childhood love of Judy Garland and her most well-known film, The Wizard Of Oz. She detailed her early love of Judy's legendary tune "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" that she would sing on vintage home videos.
5 She's All For Expressing Her Uniqueness
Over the years, Zooey Deschanel has become known for playing a certain type of character, sort of a cutesy type who is constantly positive, no matter what happens. Despite some public drawback over the years for her characters' stereotypes, Zooey doesn't have time for the backlash.
She spoke out about the naysayers in an interview with Marie-Claire, as Bustle reports.
She noted "my theory is that people in this day and age want to dismiss things. So they want to be able to dismiss you. They say, 'You don't belong, you don't deserve this because here's why..."
Zooey knows her characters are special and she doesn't have time for that negativity!
4 Zooey's Not Fond Of Interviews For This Reason
When you're in the spotlight for years and you've continuously told your story, interviews can seem really tedious. For some celebrities, it can become annoying to hear the same questions over and over again.
For Zooey, interviews are a typical part of her job, but she's been known to have opinions about certain interview questions. Interview subjects for an actress can be really limited sometimes, and Zooey has something to say about that.
In an interview with UPI, she said, "I'm all for people asking actresses more intelligent questions." Us too, Zooey!
3 She Really Does Play The 'Uke'
When you think of Zooey Deschanel, chances are you'll think of her legendary character Jess Day on New Girl, and Jess may have a ukulele on hand!
It turns out Zooey Deschanel actually does play the ukulele in real life. In a throwback viral video from the late '00s, Zooey and her 500 Days Of Summer co-star Joseph Gordon Levitt sang a duet called "What Are You Doing On New Year's Eve" which featured Zooey playing the uke while Joseph accompanied her on guitar. The video was endearing for many reasons, but perhaps especially because Zooey actually plays the instrument!
2 Zooey And Hannah Simone Are BFF's
If Jess and CeCe's friendship was one of your favourite parts of New Girl, and their chemistry as BFF's seemed totally believable, it's because the two actresses actually get along well in real life! CeCe often served as Jess's logical buffer on the show which always made for an interesting dynamic. CeCe and Jess aren't the only ones who have a strong friendship; Zooey and Hannah Simone are also buds.
When the actresses were preparing for their days on the set of New Girl, the duo would listen to the contents of Zooey's iPod, according to a Spin interview with Hannah.
1 Zooey Had Incredibly Specific Pregnancy Cravings
Impending motherhood can be one of the most exciting periods in a woman's life, but there can be some "flops" to pregnancy for some women, like a restricted diet.
Nine months without eating some of our favourite foods can seem unbearable. Pregnant women have a long time to daydream about their personal ultimate post-pregnancy menus. For Zooey, she spoke to Jimmy Kimmel about the wide array of foods an expectant mother isn't allowed to enjoy and she joked, "If I was vegan, I'd just be like... oh."
Us Weekly reports her saying, "You can't have sushi. You can't have cheese that tastes good. You can have a little bit [of coffee], but I would have, like, four cups a day. And now I can have a half cup, which is a joke! It's a total joke!"
References: TV Tropes, Hello Giggles, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Refinery29, Bustle, All Music, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, Billboard, Elite Daily, Us magazine, Parade, Noisey, Buzzfeed, Nylon, Us Weekly