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Even though her character has been dumped, sabotaged and stood up, Hannah Simone is resigned to the fact that Cece’s romantic woes on New Girl will always be her own fault.
“Schmidt can do no wrong,” Simone tells The Hollywood Reporter, “and it’s a credit to Max [Greenfield], because he plays the character in a way that’s so lovable. In this last episode, he was with his former lover, drinking, and stood Cece up. And it’s my Twitter account that was still flooded with people saying, ‘What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you take him back?’ ”
It’s a funny cross she’s had to bear since their characters’ buzzy romance met an untimely demise at the end of the freshman season.
“I’m really happy that the pressure in the beginning of this season was off of Cece and Schmidt,” she says. “They had to really develop a friendship after that implosion. If they get a second chance at this, I think they really have a good shot because they now have a piece that was missing.”
As for a second chance anytime soon, Simone thinks that ship is nowhere near port: “He’s trying, but he’s not quite there yet. And she doesn’t have the luxury of time to wait for him.”
Cece, after all, is now subject to one of the series’ more sobering storylines. A casual trip to Dr. Sadie (June Diane Raphael) revealed that her best — and likely only — childbearing days are coming to an end.
New Girl writer Kay Cannon penned “Eggs,” and when the script came to Simone, she accurately predicted the reaction among women on set and female fans.
“It’s something that so many women that I know are dealing with,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many texts and e-mails after an episode saying, ‘I laughed a lot, but now I’m seriously depressed.'”
New Girl walked a similar line in the first season when Nick (Jake Johnson) had a cancer scare, but Cece’s fertility anxiety — and ensuing quest for a man to father her children — seems poised to carry her through much of the rest of the season.
“Those are the moments where you connect to the heart of the show and you really care,” she says. “You want these characters to figure out the best option.”
And for now, much to Simone’s Twitter harassers’ chagrin, the best option is not Schmidt. And that leaves the door open for a variety of upcoming, mom-approved suitors — as well as the return of Robbie (Nelson Franklin).
Simone also teases an upcoming opportunity for Cece to wear a sari.
“This season when they told me I could go with [costume designer] Debra McGuire to pick a sari for the episode, I would have never seen that happening when the show started,” says Simone, whose father is of Indian origin. “I can’t describe the circumstances, but I will say that my mother was on set that day and could not stop laughing. It probably was for me one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever filmed.”
And while things with Schmidt may not get to where fans would like them to be anytime soon, Simone is learning that there will be brief nuggets of hope along the way — like their heart-to-heart and stolen kiss in “Menzies.”
“Nobody blinked, not even the fans,” says Simone. “I guess they just have a more progressive view of relationships than I do. Apparently that’s just what happens. You have to kiss another boy to figure out which boy you really want.”
New Girl‘s Christmas episode, “Santa,” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesday on Fox.
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