'New Girl': Brooklyn Decker Learns How to Play 'True American'

New Girl Cooler Decker Johnson Greenfield - P 2013

New Girl Cooler Decker Johnson Greenfield - P 2013

New Girl revives fan-favorite game True American during Tuesday's episode, "Cooler." And though many might try to set rules for the frantic, patriotic drinking marathon, it remains a mystery to all who play.

That includes Brooklyn Decker. The guest-star assumed that there might be a little more to the game when she recently filmed with the cast for a week.

"When they called with the original premise of the episode, they said we'd be playing True American," the actress and model tells The Hollywood Reporter. "All I really remembered of the game was that you drink a lot of alcohol and shout out a lot of miscellaneous American history facts."

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Decker did learn that fans have found a method to the madness and created rules to their own version of True American, but on set it remains a frenzy of improv.

"We'd just shout out random dates and facts and names of politicians," she says.

But this isn't your father's True American. To accommodate the episode's competition between Nick (Jack Johnson) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) to win the affections of Decker's beautiful (but slightly off) bar patron, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) institutes "Clinton Rules" -- which basically results in a strip-poker version of the game.

As for Decker, she plays a woman attracted to sad, desperate men. And between Schmidt's continued longing for Cece (Hannah Simone) and Nick's general lack of having it together, her choice is difficult.

"She's kind of a psycho," says Decker, laughing. "I feel like I've been getting cast as that quite a lot lately, so maybe something is going on there."

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Decker recently had a three-episode stint on FX's The League, where she played the similarly demented Gina, who enjoyed watching bum fights and curse words only suitable for pay cable. She says both of the shows, her first real TV forays after feature work in Battleship and What to Expect When You're Expecting, might have spoiled her a bit.

"For someone who's fairly new to comedy, it's a pretty great way to get your feet wet," she says. "There's improv, the writers are directing and the cast members are writing. There's just a fun, familial atmosphere on both sets, and I feel comfortable in that space."

The actress also says that being a fan of something before going into it doesn't hurt.

"I'm apparently what is called a binge TV watcher. I watch entire seasons in two days," she tells THR. "But New Girl and Newsroom are actually the two shows that I watch every week."

Email: Michael.OConnell@THR.com; Twitter: @MikeyLikesTV