Set Visit: 'New Girl'
Tequila and tears are on the menu as THR goes behind the scenes with Liz Meriwether, Zooey Deschanel and the entire ensemble of Fox's freshman comedy for a penultimate episode that's heavy on flashbacks and improv.
This is the first time in New Girl's brief shooting history that actor Jake Johnson has arrived on set in a "Jesus beard." He's also sporting a long wig and a fermented-looking sweatshirt. It's March 15, and he's filming a flashback on the Fox lot in Century City for the first season's penultimate episode. Clearly, his character, Nick, had a rough time in 2010. The scene requires nothing from the rest of the cast, save one line from Max Greenfield, 31, who plays one of four twentysomethings (along with Zooey Deschanel, 32, Lamorne Morris, 28, and Johnson, 33) sharing a downtown L.A. loft in the hit comedy. Everyone watches with muffled laughter as Johnson addresses his future self in a taped confessional. "Hello, Nick, you magnificent dumb ass," he growls, taking swigs from two bottles designated "tequila" and "tears." Just outside the shot, executive producers Dave Finkel and Brett Baer, director Nanette Burstein and some of the writers feed Johnson dozens of other lines -- 90 percent of which never make it to air. "We each give like 10 jokes on each line," Johnson says of the show's unique (and often exhausting) shooting style. "We do a ton of improv and so many takes that our characters are ultimately defined by what is chosen in postproduction."
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