New Girl’s Max Greenfield Talks Golden Globes, Romance & Playing a Douchebag
You may know him as the lovable but douchy Schmidt from FOX’s hit comedy New Girl, but Max Greenfield is just about as humble as it’s possible to be about his recent Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.
“It feels wonderful,” he told Screen Spy last week. “Especially in such an odd category where they have people from movies and miniseries and dramas. And all of a sudden they’re like well, the nominees are Ed Harris and Schmidt from New Girl. So, to hear that was kind of— I don’t know, it felt really nice. It always feels nice to be recognized for the work that you do, and especially in such a kind of cool and big awards show like the Golden Globes, it’s going to be a lot of fun just to participate in an event like that.”
Asked if he had any special plans for the night, Greenfield joked “Well, I like to dress up. I like to put on a spiffy outfit. So that I’m excited about. I’m excited about when the show starts to end, and you can kind of loosen up your bow-tie and unbutton like the first two, and let the bow-tie hang loose. That’s always a cool look. Like you’re on the cover of the movie Diner. That’s exciting!
“It’s going to be a great night,” he added in more serious tones. “You get to celebrate the fact that you have a job and that you’re working; that it’s going well and that people are responding to you. I plan on dancing quite a bit.”
Schmidt’s on again off again relationship with Cece (Hannah Simone) has been an equal source of amusement and heartache for many fans of the show. When we last saw them in “Santa,” Schmidt was spurned by Cece after he declared his love for her, causing a knee-jerk rejection-reaction of his own. Is there any hope for these seemingly doomed and mismatched lovers?
“I think there’s always a chance,” reflected Greenfield. “And personally I’d like to see them back together. You try to play the character and make it as personal as possible. At this point Schmidt is working so hard to get back with her that I think I personally kind of want to just win already. Every time they make up, it seems as though he’ll go after her. He’ll totally screw it up, and then they’ll find a place in friendship, and once they get settled into like a normal friend/relationship, he feels the need to then go after her again.”
Greenfield also admitted a fondness for working with co-star Jake Johnson, who plays Nick.
“Jake Johnson and I are always really happy to be together,” he said. “Just ‘cause—for whatever reason, we’re not together a lot on the show. We don’t have a lot of storylines where it’s just me and him. We usually do maybe two or three a season. So, when we get the opportunity to kind of just have a one-on-one scene it’s a lot of fun.”
Asked for his own definition of ‘Douchbag,’ a word closely related to his character, Greenfield laughed. “I think it’s anytime you see someone out in life who is just trying just a bit too hard. I saw a guy yesterday driving around LA—and I don’t know if you’re out in LA or not, but it’s on the cooler side out here. I mean, we don’t live in Minnesota but it’s not exactly 90 degrees out here. And I saw some guy driving around his Porsche and he had the top down and his Marlboro was like billowing out of his car and I was like, just …. Anytime you can look at somebody and go, “We get it” – that’s, I think, the definition of a douche.”
But Greenfield admitted he relates to Schmidt’s struggle. “I think there have been many moments in my life where I’ve tried just a bit too hard. I think Schmidt is kind of settling into himself. And I think anybody can kind of relate to that. And he’s having difficulty kind of being comfortable in his own skin and as a result, puts a little too much effort into everything.”
Catch Max Greenfield’s effortlessly funny Schmidt at his douchy best Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX.