If you tuned into the third season of Physical, chances are you had a surprised reaction when a sarcastic but bubbly blonde first appeared on screen. No, it’s certainly not Jessica Day: she is Zooey Deschanel in the dual role of Kelly Kilmartin, career fitness queen, and Kelly Kilmartin, Sheila Rubin’s poisonous interior monologue (Rose Byrne).
«I’m a little good and a little bad… a sort of friend-enemy. I’m funny, I’m mean, I’m sweet, all these different things at once,” Deschanel says by phone from her home in Los Angeles about her role as a regular cast member, in an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike began. «The relationship between Sheila and Kelly is certainly a rivalry».
Deschanel’s role in the Apple TV+ series is noteworthy for two reasons: It represents a departure from many of eccentric indie darling previously interpreted by her and constitutes her own return to TV fiction from the conclusion of the hit Fox comedy New Girl in 2018.
It must be said that at the time Deschanel needed a break and wanted to spend time with her children, eight-year-old Elsie Otter and six-year-old Charlie Wolf. So she took two years off and then refused everything they offered her for the next few years. After the rigorous experience of acting in New Girl, which sometimes shot 25 episodes per season, wasn’t exactly keen on throwing himself back into work. “It was a titanic undertaking,” he says. “I couldn’t imagine going back on track like that, especially not right away.”
Deschanel was so exhausted that she considered never doing television again. “I thought maybe I would just make films, or films and music,” she says. “I had to give myself time to understand how much I would be able to take on.”
The pandemic lull gave her plenty of time to do so. As she gradually began accepting film roles again, she was offered the opportunity to act in Physical, a series she was already passionate about. “I only do things that really excite me,” she says. And this was (and is) one of them. «I love the series!», says Deschanel. «Annie [Weisman], who created it, is an exceptional talent. I’m a big fan of Rose Byrne. The whole cast is absolutely fantastic.”
Furthermore, he couldn’t ignore the temptation to play two characters. “It’s the kind of thing that, when you go to drama school, you say to yourself: I just hope someone is kind enough to let me play a role that’s really unique and different from the person I am, to let me really dedicate myself to something with commitment.” , He says.
After a 25-year career in Hollywood, it was great to be in this position. Indeed, despite having received great praise for the eccentric yet deadpan roles she played in films such as Almost famous, The Good Girl, Our idiot brother And Elf – An elf named Buddyafter playing the lead role in the romantic comedy (500) days together Deschanel has become the face of Manic Pixie Dream Girlthe stereotype of the «slightly fairy-like and slightly crazy girl to fall in love with» (even if the actress points out that, initially, the expression was not coined for her, but for the character of Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown).
“I would never use that label to describe myself as a human being,” he says. “Although it was a clever definition, the moniker was then adapted to a new purpose and for some reason I became the face of it in many ways. But I absolutely don’t recognize myself in it.”
According to Deschanel, the epithet demonstrates that, when it was released in 2009, (500) days together it was misunderstood. The film, the actress points out, is told entirely from the point of view of the male protagonist. “Summer isn’t even given a chance to express who she is,” she says. «She IS considered just like an object, and this is dehumanizing». It’s another reason why she doesn’t recognize herself in the label of Manic Pixie Dream Girl: a definition that intrinsically considers the person it describes as an object.
Deschanel is still thrilled to be the face of twee, especially considering that the look has come back into fashion in recent times on TikTok. “I love all girls who are twee,” she says, giggling. “I’m here for this”.
In addition to acting, Deschanel has undertaken a musical career and since 2006 he has formed the indie-rock duo She & Him with M. Ward. She is also the co-founder of the women’s media site HelloGiggles and has, ever since she had the first pregnancy, became passionate about democratizing the food industry. “It’s not a field I ever intended to make a career in, that’s for sure,” she says. «It really came from the curiosity to know what is in the food we eat and the feeling of having no idea how it is prepared and where it is grown. In many ways, it all seems out of sight, out of mind.”
Deschanel wants to change the “strange idea that healthy food is a privilege for rich people” and has already contributed to the founding of various companies that share this mission: The Farm Project, which allows you to grow your own food and connect with farmers locals; Lettuce Grow, which sells home hydroponic systems that encourage people to grow their own food; and Merryfield, an app that allows users to earn coupon points when they buy products clean label. Furthermore, in 2017 you began publishing a series of short videos entitled on YouTube Your Food’s Rootswhich in turn became a springboard for What Am I Eating?his nutrition education series on Max (broadcast in Italian on Food Network with the title The Secrets of Food – With Zooey Deschanel).
Following her return to TV in August, Deschanel also returned to film for the first time in seven years with Dreamin’ WildBill Pohlad’s biopic about singer-musician brothers Donnie (Casey Affleck) and Joe Emerson (Walton Goggins). «It was very evocative, because it tells the story of a dream lost and found. It reminded me a lot of the independent films I made at the beginning,” says the actress.
Deschanel feels fortunate to have a “renewed passion” for acting, but she also says she enjoys having an eclectic career, which allows her to focus on fruitful creative collaborations and excellent working chemistry rather than specific goals.
Currently, she is also enjoying being a mother, enjoying her engagement to the star of Brothers in business Jonathan Scott and plans to write another She & Him album. “On our next album I want to be more original, so I have to start writing,” she says. “My goal for next year is just to write.”
Source: Vanity Fair
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