She thought it was a prank
Zooey Deschanel has explained how Prince came to appear in an episode of New Girl.
The Fox sitcom’s final season kicks off tonight (April 10), with season seven consisting of eight episodes in total.
Late music icon Prince appeared in episode 14 of the show’s third season in 2014 (see a clip beneath) and his appearance saw US audience numbers jump from an average of between 3 and 4 million to a one-off figure of over 26 million.
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Deschanel described how Prince’s cameo happened and what it was like working with the star.
“It was a highlight of my whole life,” she said. “It was amazing just to get to hang out with him. To the very last second, we weren’t sure if he was going to come to set… We were like, ‘I hope he’s the type that shows up’.”
“I got a cold email from his manager, and it was like the most on-brand Prince email ever — like too on-brand. It was like, ‘Hello, I am manager to legendary artist Prince. He is loving the show New Girl. He would like 2 B’ — you know, like, 2 B — ‘on the show.’ And I’m like, ‘This has to be a prank. There’s no way!'”
“But I had several people check it out. It turned out it was his manager. You know, you never know. When you put stuff out there, you’re in the entertainment business, you never know who might just be flipping channels and find your show. And randomly, Prince found the show, and he was watching it every week with his band, and they’d watch it on tour, and it was like he couldn’t miss it, and they were really invested in the Nick and Jess relationship. It was just one of those really surreal moments.”
Deschanel continued: “We had no back-up plan, but he showed up. He was awesome. He was such a pro… A good actor and very kind of chill all the time. Such a cool guy.”
Watch Deschanel discuss Prince’s New Girl cameo in the clip below.
Deschanel had previously claimed that Prince would only appear on the show if the Kardashians didn’t.
According to Deschanel, Prince listed specific demands for the episode, including that there must be no stars of reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians. At least two members of the celebrity family had been booked for the episode, Deschanel said.
“It turns out that someone from Prince’s camp said ‘Who are the celebrities? I hope it’s not a Kardashian’. It’s really sad because Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner had very kindly come in and shot [a] scene… I felt so bad because obviously everyone had gone out of their way to be there on that day, but Prince was running the show”.
Deschanel described how members of the crew gathered all the scripts and evidence that the Kardashians were due to appear and burned them in a bonfire before Prince arrived.