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New Girl star Hannah Simone didn’t get much of a heads up before being told of her character’s unlikely romantic pairing with Schmidt (Max Greenfield). She first heard about it when she received the script — the same way she learned that Cece might be pregnant.
Tuesday’s New Girl, “Kids,” opens with Cece confessing to Jess (Zooey Deschanel) that she’s possibly with child, setting off a chain of events that hint at how far the Cece/Schmidt relationship might be able to go.
“When I first read the pilot, which has those characters so separated, I never would have thought,” Simone tells The Hollywood Reporter of her new arc. “It makes me love the show so much more because it’s not scared to go there. They’re not trying to save good ideas for the next season.”
Thankfully, the have a next season anyway. Fox recently picked up New Girl, along with Tuesday neighbors Glee and Raising Hope, for the network’s 2012-13 season. It’s a lot of good news for an actress whose contributions were more understated than others in the show’s ensemble.
“I really had no idea how her life was going to turn out, and therefore my life,” she laughs. “I don’t even know that the writers necessarily knew.”
The writers, who Simone jokingly wishes would script her own life, don’t regularly alert her on the Schmidt situation, though she did see one particular development coming. “I knew with the episode ‘Cece Crashes’. where she lets him sleep beside her in their pajamas and she reaches over and takes his hand,” she says. “I remember reading that script and thinking, ‘This girl is toast’.”
And though both parties remain committed to be being noncommittal, Simone does see it stretching on for a while — at least in some capacity.
“I think this story with Schmidt will go for a long time,” she says. “I don’t know they’ll be together the whole time, but it’s going to reflect a real relationship… Physical intimacy is easy. Emotional intimacy is hard. Sometimes we get carried away and then we get a massive reality check.”
That reality check doesn’t mean fans should be bracing for a mini Schmidt next season, but there is a development on that front at the end of “Kids” that should take fans by surprise. It surprised Simone, whose character isn’t even in on the bombshell.
“Usually what I know, my character knows too, that’s just the way they’ve written it so far,” says Simone. “This was my opportunity to sit back as a fan of show.”
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