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Max Greenfield expertly (and hilariously) balanced the line between self-parody and sincerity on Sunday afternoon from the seat of a stationary bike.
Following a recent viral clip in which he played his New Girl character Schmidt teaching a spin class to an empty room, the 31-year-old actor and former instructor taught two classes for children’s literary nonprofit Milk and Bookies at the West Hollywood SoulCycle outpost.
PHOTOS: ‘New Girl’: Behind the Scenes of Fox’s Comedy
“It all happened really fast,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, with the project initially inspired by a mock Schmidt workout DVD originally posted by Vulture. “We’d been thinking about doing something like that for a while but, with the finale coming up, it just seemed like the right time.”
So two days shy of the series’ season-ender, Greenfield taught back-to-back classes for a crowd that may not have been fully prepared for how real of workout they were about to get. Yes, Greenfield frequently entered the realm of Schmidt, kicking the set off with subdued Glee cover of Whitney Houston‘s “How Will I Know” — candles burning all the while in the otherwise dark, mirrored room. But he also put out a legitimately tough class, with a few grueling climbs and an extra emphasis on upper-body work.
And that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Greenfield used to teach spin at Made in LA Fitness, where he counted Cougar Town star Busy Phillips among his regular pupils. He said he had to pull back when he and his wife had their daughter two years ago.
The rest of the class careened between motivational pop confections — Rihanna, Beyonce, David Guetta, Justin Bieber — before the packed crowd, which included Fox employees, New Girl co-star Hannah Simone and several extremely enthused fans, hobbled out of the room, posing for sweaty photo-ops along the way.
Greenfield, on the other hand, had another class booked right afterward. “I don’t know how I’m going to do this again,” he said, laughing. “I think I’m just going to walk around the room a lot.”
STORY: ‘New Girl’ Star Max Greenfield on Schmidt’s Evolution and the Power of ‘Chut-a-ney’
As for future spins with Schmidt, this probably isn’t the last of them. Though THR suggested the Greenfield might find an extremely lucrative second job as celebrity instructor, he wants to keep doing it for a good cause.
“This was an experiment,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to take this to New York and maybe a few other places. I’d love to keep doing to this for Milk and Bookies and maybe a few other charities.”
The New Girl season finale airs May 8, at 9 p.m. ET, on Fox.
Email: Michael.OConnell@THR.com; Twitter: @MikeyLikesTV
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