20 November 2013 by

EXCLUSIVE: Hannah Simone Talks Playing Cece On New Girl: 'She Can Be Hell On Wheels!'

We’ve had an exclusive chat with Hannah Simone who plays Cece on ‘New Girl’ about that wedding, Mick Jagger and what Season Three has in store…

Was there pressure to maintain the success of Season One with Season Two?

That is something that's left in the hands of (showrunners) Liz Meriwether and Brett (Baer) and Dave (Finkel). I think what I  learned along this journey is that our fans have been there from day one and are in it for the ride. (As actors) we discover what happens to our characters week to week as the scripts get given to us. Things unfold in the same way for them and we're all in it together. That’s what's so great about it.

Things got very interesting for the group this season. How did that affect Cece?

In the episode where she inadvertently finds out that her biological clock is ticking a little faster than a lot of ladies, Cece realises she had to make some grown up decisions but she wasn't ready. Cece has to make some big decisions around Schmidt, around the rest of her life, around the kind of partner she wants to be with. There were lots of story lines about growing up this season.

Everybody had their love struggle during this season. But Cece was greedy! She had two people you almost got married to… 

I got so lucky 'cause I had Nelson Franklin, Satya Bhabha and Max Greenfield. Three of the loveliest, nicest guys in the world.  I had a great season with all those guys.

The last two episodes that led up to the wedding were really fascinating to watch. Do you think that was the best part of the season?

I loved how we ramped up into the end of Season Two because I think the audience could feel it. Those who knew Cece could tell that it wasn't the right thing for her. It took her to the last second, but that's when she listened to her intuition. (The viewer was) on tender hooks thinking 'is she going to really go through with this?' We don't know week to week what's coming. I didn't know what was going to happen.  I had that same feeling of anxiety of 'is she really going to marry someone she's not in love with?' We face a lot of those real issues in the season which is really great. 

Elizabeth (Merritt Wever) was a nice addition to the cast. Schmidt seems more three dimensional now as a result of that. Was that unexpected?

What was so great about bringing Elizabeth back is that choice was that so many people relate to the fact of those first loves and how attached we are to those memories and attached we are to who we were at that stage in our lives when we were young and in love. I loved how complicated that made things for Schmidt, because I do believe he loves both women, but in very different ways with very different parts of him. To choose is like choosing between two parts of himself, I think that's incredibly bold to deal with in a comedy.

So let’s talk about the Mick Jagger episode...

[Laughs] Yeah, papa was a Rolling Stone.

Was that the ultimate dream scenario in 'New Girl' history?

Yes, that was a pretty cool story line.  I remember when we got to that episode where Cece chooses to lose it to Mick Jagger. I was like, 'what?', but that's pretty awesome.

So let’s talk about Jess and Nick who take the plunge towards the end of the season. Was that risky?

All relationships are a high stakes game. That is part of life and love. You don't choose who you fall in love with and if you've got a connection with somebody, go with it.

The  show also took on a new comedic tone as well.  How was that for you as an actor?

I like that sense of unpredictability. I know that we get to play it as real as we can and we're invested in these relationships.  Then they put us in some incredibly bizarre situation and we just have to cope with those real emotional processes. That is what makes it funny because that's life. You were really going through something and something crazy is happening around you and you have to get through it.

There were so many great additional guest characters this Season. Was that a nice dynamic for the regular cast?

We had some incredible guest stars that were willing to be a part of our crazy show. I mean Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner as Zooey's parents on the show was amazing, they're incredibly funny, wonderful people. Nobody could keep it together because we were laughing so much. We're so lucky with everybody who wants to be a part of it.


What can you tell us about Season 3? 

We're so early on in Season 3 right now and it’s still unfolding. There's this massive backlash that's coming from Schmidt's choice or lack thereof. Right now what we're shooting is how he's coping with that fallout. I'm not sure what direction Cece will go, now that the man she thought that she was with wasn't that man. And I'm curious because I know she can be hell on wheels.

How do you feel about representing the non-mainstream 'American girl' on mainstream TV?

It's an exciting time to be a part of TV right now. I remember growing up and searching 'your' face on TV and not really finding it. It’s a really cool thing to think that kids who weren't represented before are represented now. Fox does a great job of that, look The Mindy Project. It's just a wonderful feeling.

New Girl is out on DVD on 25th November from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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