A Day Out With the Guys From New Girl
Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris | Photo Credits: Maarten de Boer
Truth be told, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris don't exactly come across as guys who'd frequent a fancy barbershop — the sort of post-ironic place where straight-razor shaves are administered by hipsters at $40 a pop. But when they gather at L.A.'s Baxter Finley early on a Saturday morning, the New Girl costars manage to quickly break the ice with a rapid-fire stream of inside jokes — and some sloppily applied shaving cream — demonstrating a camaraderie and conversational shorthand that makes it tough to believe they've been working together for only a single season on Fox's freshman hit. Here's what the trio have to say about getting groomed for sitcom stardom.
TV Guide Magazine: New Girl was the first real big break for all of you. Had you ever considered throwing in the towel?
Morris: Yeah. A couple of years ago I wanted to go back to Chicago. The problem was, I didn't have enough money to fly home. I was too small to fail. Eviction notice on the door, car got repo'd... It was bad.
Johnson: My first acting gig was a commercial that I got paid, like, $10,000 to do. They put me in this wig and a big mustache and a red sweater. It was so easy and the money was so good that no matter how much I failed after that, I wasn't going to quit. Also, I don't have another skill set. I'm lazy.
Greenfield: My wife and I had a baby a couple of years ago. I'd had a really rough pilot season, and I can remember calling a buddy of mine, who was show-running Hot in Cleveland, trying to be a writer's assistant, just get the closest thing to a real job. A month later I booked this.
TV Guide Magazine: When the show took off, how glad were you that you hung in there?
Greenfield: One of the reasons the show works is because there's a real sense of gratitude. It's not some faux humbleness. Everyone involved has been kicked in the face enough that we're still terrified this could go away.
TV Guide Magazine: Max, why do fans love Schmidt so much?
Greenfield: He takes his shirt off in every episode — it helps. A group of Asian men and women who'd seen the pilot before we'd even started airing came up to me, like, "Shirt-off guy, shirt-off guy."
TV Guide Magazine: Jake, where do you think Nick's world-weariness comes from?
Johnson: He had a dark childhood. I imagine he was one of the only white kids in a black neighborhood, [and] he's been getting teased his whole life. Schmidt was Nick's first white friend, and because of him, Nick thought all white guys were d-----bags.
TV Guide Magazine: Lamorne, since Winston is a former pro baller, did he peak too early in life?
Morris: He'll find a new niche — something more important. But when you're playing basketball, you're like, "I'm a role model," especially coming from the neighborhood he came from. I'm kind of in a similar situation. When you grow up on the south side of Chicago, you can't help but want to be rich and famous.
TV Guide Magazine: As the only unmarried one of the group, Lamorne, do the others try to live vicariously through you?
Morris: Yeah, everyone's all boo'd up. The guys will be like, "So, yeah, man, are you totally gettin' after it? Who ya sleepin' with?" That's what Jake says.
Johnson: Shut up! I don't say that! I say, "Hey, man, you fall in love with anybody? Taking it slow and actually getting to know these people?"