A Hollywood Moment with "New Girl" Star Max Greenfield

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You know him as Schmidt, the kinda-sorta lovable "douchebag" on Fox's hit comedy series, "New Girl." After we joined a press-jammed conference call with him a few days ago, we simply call him Max, Max Greenfield, that is. The Emmy-nominated actor who stars alongside cover girl Zooey Deschanel chatted us up about the new season of the laugh-out-loud show, his potential Golden Globes win this Sunday, and whether Schmidt can win Cece back.

Q:

How did it feel when you found out you had been nominated for a Golden Globe?

A:

Well, it feels wonderful especially in such a kind of 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. As far as where I was, it was five in the morning and I was very much asleep.

Q:

We start this new season with Schmidt experiencing "white guilt." Can you tell us a little bit about that story line?

A:

I think he sees Winston out and he’s hanging out with a bunch of other African-American guys and I think Schmidt kind of—in his own naïve sort of way — somehow assumes that he’s being held back in the loft and is not feeling comfortable around white people, such as Schmidt and Nick and Jess, and doesn’t feel like he can fully be himself. So he tries to, in his most idiotic of ways, tries to give Winston an opportunity to really spread his wings within the loft and Winston quickly realizes what he’s doing and how stupid he is, and kind of plays along with him and gets Schmidt really riled up and it turns into quite a wild adventure.

Q:

This one's all about love: will Cece take Schmidt back this season?

A:

I think there’s always a chance. And personally, yes, I’d like to see them back together. You try to play the character and make it as personal as possible and 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.

Q:

If legend proves true, you have a sort of "Magic Mike" story about your own beginnings, and we saw a little bit of that last season. Is this true?

A:

I was actually —I don’t want to say a stripper because that’s not the right word — but an exotic dancer for quite some time. That’s not only Channing Tatum’s story, but it’s mine as well. It’s a shame that he was so much more famous than I was at the time the story came out.

Q:

We're going to see a lot of guest stars on "New Girl" this season: Brooklyn Decker, Olivia Munn, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Rob Reiner. Who else would you like to see make a cameo on the show? Who's making a comeback?

A:

We get asked this all the time and all of a sudden I’ll see something on TV and I’ll be like, “Oh my God. I want him to be on the show.” So many people... Nelson Franklin comes back and he’s always a joy. Dennis Farina came on to play Nick’s dad.

Q:

With awards season in full swing, and your own date at the Golden Globes this Sunday, what new shows or movies are you interested in seeing?

A:

All the Academy [Award-nominated] movies. I’ve got to be knowledgeable about the awards, with award season. I can’t go into award season not knowing what these films are... I want to watch "Rust and Bone." I have to watch "Lincoln." I have not seen "Lincoln" yet. That’s about it. I want to watch "Amour." I know it’s going to be devastating, but I’ve got to get in there.

The new season of "New Girl" starring Greenfield alongside Deschanel, Hannah Simone, Jack Johnson, and Lamorne Morris, premieres tonight on FOX at 9:00 p.m. EST.