Most TV characters start out as recognizable types, and Cece on “New Girl” was no exception.
In the show’s first season, Cece was simply the model-perfect best friend of Jess (Zooey Deschanel), but as the Fox show has ripened into one of television’s most pleasing ensemble comedies, it’s become clear that Cece is anything but perfectly pulled together.
She generally has odd or simply terrible taste in men (ahem, Schmidt!); her roommate is a possible sociopathic Russian model; and she’s not nearly as confident as she seems. But as Hannah Simone notes, as the woman who plays her, Cece has at least one good trait: She’s a great friend.
“So many times on TV, it’s [about] stealing someone’s man, or a catfight,” Simone said when we chatted. “That’s not how you are with your best friend.”
Below, Simone discusses Cece’s strange — and strangely transfixing — relationship with the douchey-sweet Schmidt (Max Greenfield). She also talks about the hardest part of her job and the curveballs she’s gotten from the writers of the show (whom I also recently interviewed).
When the show began, your character was a model and sort of perceived a certain way, as this aloof person. Did you ever think so many things would happen to her, just in the first season?
I love our creator, Liz Meriwether, so much, and we have the best showrunners in the business in Brett [Baer] and Dave [Finkel]. I could see the potential for my character and I loved their writing, so I knew with their sense of story that she was going to have a bit of a wild ride. I didn’t think that she would have a pregnancy scare and a marriage proposal. We genuinely don’t know what to expect week to week — they just keep throwing these huge stories at us, and they work.