By ALICIA RANCILIO
NEW YORK — Max Greenfield, who’s been nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Schmidt on the Fox comedy “New Girl,” says he isn’t worried about being typecast.
The idea makes him laugh.
“I don’t think anybody was ever gonna put me in like `Winter’s Bone’ anyway,” the 32-year-old actor said in a recent interview. “You know what I mean? I don’t think like if they were making a very dramatic, serious movie, they were gonna think, `You know, I really like Max Greenfield, but Schmidt is just … it’s too much of a THING to put him in that movie.'”
He even took the bit further.
“I don’t think they’re trying to put me in `Saving Private Ryan. `We’re looking for Ryan. (Pauses.) Is that Schmidt?'” he said. “I’m fine. I’m getting to do everything I want to do on this show.”
“New Girl” stars Zooey Deschanel as a young woman with three male roommates, played by Greenfield, Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris.
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Schmidt is a vain, oversexed ladies man with obsessive-compulsive disorder. He makes frequent references to his Jewish heritage. The character could be unlikable, but Greenfield’s portrayal of Schmidt makes many viewers root for him.
Fans tweet Greenfield’s lines as Schmidt while the show airs. And Greenfield garners respect from his peers.
“I wanna live in a world where the only person I see or interact with is Schmidt,” actress Mindy Kaling tweeted last year. Gwyneth Paltrow wrote in her newsletter, GOOP, that she “fell in TV love” with the character. Greenfield now occasionally contributes to GOOP.
Greenfield worried before “New Girl” debuted in 2011 that viewers would dislike Schmidt.
“I thought, `There’s a good chance that I’ll never work again after this.’ I mean, we’ve played him in such a way that this could go terribly wrong, and then we started to air and the response was so positive. It kind of affirmed all the things that the writers were doing, all the things that I was doing. I think it said to everyone, `We’re on the same page. We can keep moving forward.’ And then they just went crazy with it.”
Schmidt’s first name hasn’t been revealed, and Greenfield hopes it never will be, unless it’s done in a clever way, like if the character gets married.
“I’m just thinking of this now, but what a smart move this would be. `Will you (first name) Schmidt take … ` and that’s the moment she goes, `That’s your first name?’ That would be a nice moment. Under a chuppah.”
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