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Zooey Deschanel

PARTING SHOT

Illustration by BRITT SPENCER

IN 2011, WHEN NEW GIRLDEBUTED, THERE WAS TREPIDATION AMONG SOME critics: Posters featuring star Zooey Deschanel played up the manic pixie dream girl (super quirky characters, often with bangs) she’d popularized in her films, including (500) Days of Summer and Elf. The assumption was: more of the same. But over time, New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and Deschanel cleverly subverted the stereotype: Jess is glitter-and-polka-dot twee, yes, but also ambitous, independent and smart. The Fox show, which almost ended last May, came back for a brief seventh season, mostly to resolve the on-again-off-again relationship of Jess and Nick (Jake Johnson); their fate will be decided in the May 15 finale. “It’s fun to watch them work toward, hopefully, resolving the issues that were holding them back,” says Deschanel, who looks forward to more time hanging out with her kids (Elsie Otter, 2, and Charlie Wolf, 1) and getting back to her first love, music. She’s still half of She & Him, with M. Ward, and on May 25 and 26 she’ll sing Belle in Beauty and the Beast in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. “Playing there is a dream come true,” says the Los Angeles native.

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