Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday's episode of New Girl. Read at your own risk!]
If you were shocked by Jess and Nick's first kiss earlier this season, you probably lost it at the close of Tuesday's New Girl when the dynamic duo did the deed!
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That's right, Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) finally consummated one of the most confusing relationships on television this season. They like each other. They can't stand each other. They kiss. They infuriate each other. They try dating. It doesn't work. In all honesty, these two are meant for each other, but was their romp in the sack — only eight episodes after their first kiss — too soon? TVGuide.com caught up with Johnson to get his thoughts on Nick and Jess sleeping together and what's in store for the pair as the Fox comedy heads towards its second season finale.
When you first read the script and learned Nick and Jess would be sleeping together, what was your reaction?
Jake Johnson: I was shocked. I didn't think they were going to have sex until at least the finale, if then because they've been a bit prudish with each other. When I read this script and saw it was written by Liz Meriwether and it's such a jokey and ridiculous script, I thought this was just going to become a fun one. In the end, when Nick goes and grabs her off of the elevator, I was shocked.
What was it like filming this scene with Zooey? Were you guys surprised it was happening so soon?
Johnson: Zooey and I are both really into the Nick and Jess story so we're fans ourselves. We were both excited to see that they were doing this.
It definitely seemed like Nick and Jess were shocked with the realization that they slept together at the end of the episode. How do you think this will change the dynamic between them?
Johnson: I really don't know. Where they're at with the relationship, I don't think the writers are too far ahead of it. We're all discovering it at the same time the audience is. It's somewhat of a "choose your own adventure" love story. It's not all planned out. The reality of our show is, for better or for worse, it's definitely being written in 2013, and things like Twitter and fan response are having a lot of effect on our show. Where it goes depends on the reaction.
What's the main fan reaction you've heard since Nick and Jess first kissed earlier this season? Has it mostly been support?
Johnson: Absolutely. People have been really into it. There was an underbelly of people being scared that it would ruin the dynamic of the show, and our writers have handled it in a really smart way. Nobody wants to see this show turn into just a couple and everybody else is on the fringe; that's not what our show is. Our show is about these four people who live together and their friendship as a group. If two people are dating in the middle, what people have been excited to see is how that affects the other friends and how you don't lose the group dynamic by having two people potentially have an on-again, off-again thing.
New Girl Postmortem: It finally happened! What's next for Nick and Jess?
We already saw how Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) reacted to them just kissing. How are we going to see them react to news that they slept together? Or is this something that they might try to keep secret for now considering their previous reactions?
Johnson: I can't tell you! [Laughs] But I will say there's a wrinkle in the plan and Rob Reiner's Bob Day shows up. The morning after Nick has sex with his daughter, he has to hang out with her father, which is not a great feeling. He'll get pretty awkward and we all know Nick Miller has some father issues; he's constantly looking for some guidance from weird men in parks. [Laughs] This is kind of his nightmare. And Rob Reiner is an intimidating guy to act with, so the whole thing was just a very strange couple days on the New Girl set.
Any awkward Moonwalks?
Johnson: No Moonwalks, unfortunately!
Nick and Jess have been trying to figure out their dynamic this season. Is their sleeping together their first step in defining the relationship?
Johnson: I don't know, to be honest. Even if they try to "define it," I don't think they're ready to really make it work. I don't see how they make it work in a functional relationship. They're both total weirdos.
There's a lot of growth needed for both of them, namely Nick, who's never really had his life together. How much does thinking about having a relationship with Jess scare Nick?
Johnson: He's kind of a life idiot. I think he's just going to blow it. I don't think he's even conscious of how scared he even would be. He just knows who he is. If you're a guy who drops the big catch in the football game, you don't think that you don't want the ball coming to you. You just know that when it does, you're going to drop it. I don't think he's had this big growth where he understands who he is as a man. I could be wrong and Season 3 Nick could be all grown up and pretty cool! [Laughs] I'd be surprised if that happened. Maybe if we get to do this show for years, somewhere down the line he'll have a few wake-up calls. If Nick and Jess try to get too serious right now and try to actually make it work as an adult relationship, I think both of them would screw it up.
Are New Girl's Nick and Jess the new Ross and Rachel?
We know the finale is Cece (Hannah Simone) and Shivrang's (Satya Bhabha) wedding, where Schmidt is trying to sabotage it. Where does Nick fall into the wedding plans?
Johnson: Nick and Schmidt, even though at times they're enemies, they're each other's right-hand man. They refer to each other as business partners, so Schmidt goes to his business partner and says, "I need your help sabotaging this." And Nick wants to help because the schemes are fun, but Jess asks Nick not to, and he doesn't help the guys sabotage the wedding because he's trying to be considerate to Jess' feelings, which leads Nick in a weird spiral. What happens with Nick and Jess in the episode is that conflict between the two gets them to a point of their relationship at the end of the episode where, at the end of the finale, they have a name for what it is and they make a decision on how they're going to move forward.
Do you think fans of Nick and Jess are going to be happy with this decision?
Johnson: I think it depends on the fan. I'm getting good at cryptic answers, I have to give myself some credit! The truth is, some fans will like it and some will be disappointed.
Do you think Nick and Jess should get into a relationship? Hit the comments!
New Girl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.