New Girl is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s been 10 years since the Fox comedy debuted, and it’s been three years since it wrapped with its seventh season. In the years since, it’s proven itself as a show that only grows funnier with repeat viewings. With every rewatch, there are new jokes to be found and appreciated.
Series star Jake Johnson is still laughing about New Girl, too, specifically about the elusive mind of his character, Nick Miller.
Nick Miller is a simple person, simultaneously an everyman and a caricature of an everyman. He’s also the esteemed author of The Pepperwood Chronicles. You know, the YA story about a former Chicago cop and present-day detective in New Orleans named Julius Pepperwood. The book was a hit with kids and represented Miller finally living up to his potential.
Johnson, who stars in and co-wrote the new film Ride the Eagle, still gets a kick out of the early days of Miller’s journey. “I really connect to him in a lot of ways,” Johnson said:
“I think the part of Nick’s writing that I don’t know if I relate to, but I remember cry-laughing on set one time. I don’t remember the season or any of that, but I was on a bed, I remember it being with Zooey [Deschanel] and Max [Greenfield], and I think Lamorne [Morris] was there too, and they were discovering what was in Nick’s book. It was just pages of crosswords. He spelled rhythm wrong every time. I think one page was like a Chinese food menu. Nick’s brain was revealed to be true mashed potatoes.”
It’s that Nick Miller, not the acclaimed author, that Johnson calls his favorite. “There was an episode a guy named Rob Rosell wrote that there was a whole sequence in there that in Nick’s room was a glass of milk that he had left,” Johnson added:
“He had filled it to the top like an infinity pool. Schmidt couldn’t understand why he had left milk in there, and to Nick, it was very obvious [Laughs]. The thing I love most about Nick is when he just made terrible decisions and he was just an idiot. I think in the end he gets successful as a writer, I remember that, but my favorite was when Pepperwood Chronicles was one of the worst things out in America.”
Miller was still funny when he was successful, but the many seasons of him screwing up is the character at his finest. No matter how many mistakes he made, he remained charming.
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