Zooey Deschanel Shuts Down 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Stereotype: 'I Don't Feel It's Accurate'

·2 min read
Zooey Deschanel arrives for the Environmental Media Association (EMA) awards gala at Gearbox LA in Los Angeles, October 16, 2021.
Zooey Deschanel arrives for the Environmental Media Association (EMA) awards gala at Gearbox LA in Los Angeles, October 16, 2021.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty

Zooey Deschanel refuses to adhere to a stereotype.

Despite being viewed as a quirky and whimsical celebrity — based on her roles from Summer in 500 Days of Summer to Jess in New Girl — Deschanel doesn't identify with one particular personality type.

Now, after years of being referred to as a "manic pixie dream girl," or a character who leads with whimsicality and a less-structured tone in life than her male counterpart, Deschanel is speaking out on the Hollywood trope.

"I don't feel it's accurate," the New Girl alum, 42, told The Guardian in a recent interview. "I'm not a girl. I'm a woman."

She added, "It doesn't hurt my feelings, but it's a way of making a woman one-dimensional and I'm not one-dimensional."

Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Arrivals
Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell - Arrivals

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Though the tone in Hollywood appears to be changing amid the #MeToo movement and general conversations about the diversity of actresses, Deschanel said breaking away from the "manic pixie dream girl" stereotype has been a work in progress.

"I think the tendency is still to make women one-dimensional, so you have to add dimension, if you can," she explained.

"The more screen time a female character gets, the more space there is to show complexities, but there has been a shift, so I'm optimistic," she added.

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New Girl is still one of Deschanel's latest projects, despite the Fox series ending in 2018.

For seven seasons, Deschanel played the bubbly and quirky teacher, Jess Day, alongside Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone and Lamorne Morris. She was nominated in 2012 at the Emmy Awards for her leading role.

Today, Deschanel is stepping into a few upcoming roles. She's set to play the character Nancy in the upcoming music film Dreamin' Wild, and will be lending her voice to the Harold and the Purple Crayon animated film that's expected in 2023, according to her IMDb page.

In her personal life, Deschanel has been dating Property Brother star Jonathan Scott since August 2019 after they met on an episode of Carpool Karaoke.