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Zooey Deschanel in ‘New Girl’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress

There’s no disputing the star of “New Girl” is also an It Girl.

In addition to a second-season renewal of the breakout Fox sitcom, Zooey Deschanel recently landed the role of country star Loretta Lynn on Broadway, hosted “Saturday Night Live” this past season and has an iPhone commercial in rotation.

With a leading role in the 2009 feature “(500) Days of Summer,” as well as other film credits that include “Almost Famous” and “The Good Girl,” Deschanel has scored legions of new fans with her portrayal as Jess, the quirky roommate of three guys who help her navigate her rocky love life.

“One of the things I loved when I read the script was how weirdly comfortable she was while being awkward, which is an interesting combination,” says Deschanel, who garnered a Golden Globe nod for her performance. “When we started casting the pilot, I read with every single person who came in and was able to experiment with the character. I like the fact that with TV you can do that.”

Showbiz is a family affair for Deschanel. Sister Emily stars on “Bones,” also shot on the Fox lot in Los Angeles and on which Zooey has appeared as a guest star. Their father, Caleb, is a veteran cinematographer and mom Mary Jo is a thesp.

Deschanel also performs in a band called She and Him with M. Ward and plans to go into the recording studio this summer. She sang the national anthem before Game 4 of the 2011 World Series.

“I’m fortunate to be in this position,” says Deschanel of working on “New Girl,” on which she’s also a producer. “I’m looking forward to expanding the character and putting her in new situations that are more fun. We’re all shaping this together — the writers, the actors — in a very collaborative way.”

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