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How The “New Girl” Cast Has Changed Over 10 Years After Its Premiere

Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris, and other outstanding actors graced our televisions in the smash comedy “New Girl.” From 2011 until 2018, “New Girl” aired on FOX for seven seasons. The program centers on a young woman named Jess (played by Zooey Deschanel). She moves into an apartment with three guys—Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris), and their old roommate, Coach—after breaking up with her longtime lover (Damon Wayans Jr.).

“New Girl” kept audiences laughing for days, but it also delivered some touching moments. Most significantly, it gave the world its first introduction to some of the cutest and quirkiest characters to ever appear on television.

Even though it made its debut almost ten years ago, “New Girl” continues to have a strong fan base. The show boosted the careers of the lead performers, particularly Deschanel, and after the series concluded, they all moved on to bigger things, both professionally and personally.

Here is what the “New Girl” cast has been doing since the show’s end.

#1 Zooey Deschanel as Jessica Day

Source: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

The primary character, Jess, was portrayed by Zooey Deschanel. She is a vivacious, kind middle school teacher who moves into a LA loft with three other men.

Deschanel has started her own website and is continuing to concentrate on music and movies since “New Girl” first aired. Deschanel cofounded the female-focused website HelloGiggles in 2011 and appeared in a few films, such as “Our Idiot Brother” (2011).

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Deschanel’s roles in “Failure to Launch” (2006), “Yes Man” (2008), and “500 Days of Summer” all introduced her to playing characters who are eccentric and out of the ordinary (2009).

In 2020, the actress participated in Katy Perry’s “Not the End of the World” music video and provided the voice for the role in “Trolls World Tour.” In 2021, she made her television debut as Michael Bolton’s co-host on ABC’s “The Celebrity Dating Game.”

#2 Gillian Vigman as Kim

Source: FOX

Kim, Schmidt’s employer and the CFO of his company’s marketing, was portrayed by Gillian Vigman. She has acted in movies like “The Hangover,” “Step Brothers,” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2009).

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Since then, she has been in films including “Forever My Girl” and “The Hangover” franchise (2009–2013). (2018). Vigman has appeared in a lot more movies and TV shows. She has been providing the Dr. T’Ana voice since 2020 for the Paramount+ animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”

#3 Jamie Lee Curtis as Joan Day

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Mom Joan was portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis. Her more than 35-year Hollywood career includes roles in popular films like “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988), “My Girl” (1991), and “Freaky Friday” (2003), as well as TV series. She is renowned for her work in the “Halloween” film series as well. Since then, Curtis has made numerous further TV shows and films.

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She starred in “An Acceptable Loss” (2018), “Knives Out” (2019), and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022).

#4 Jake Johnson as Nick Miller

Source: FOX

Nick is one of Jess’ housemates with whom she has an on-again, off-again romance. Johnson has since made numerous appearances in films and television programs.

Johnson has acted in movies including “21 Jump Street” (2012) and “Neighbors” (2014). Before joining the cast of “Jurassic World,” he appeared in the 2014 film “Let’s Be Cops” with fellow “New Girl” actor Damon Wayans Jr. (2015).

Source: David Swanson/REUTERS

Johnson also provided the voice of Spider-Man in the animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018). The actor has contributed to a number of TV programs, including “Minx,” “Stumptown,” and “Hoops,” an adult cartoon series on Netflix and ABC, respectively.

#5 Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Caroline

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Caroline, Nick’s ex-girlfriend, was portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Ellis.

Ellis has been on programs like Fox’s “House,” but she is best recognized for her role as The Waitress on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Ellis has gotten a few additional supporting roles since the show’s debut.

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Ellis has had TV appearances on “Happy Endings” on ABC, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Fox/NBC, and “Santa Clarita Diet” on Netflix.

She also joined the cast of “Licorice Pizza” in 2021 as Momma Anita and will soon be seen in an untitled movie that Charlie Day, her co-star from “Always Sunny,” will direct.

#6 Max Greenfield as Schmidt

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Schmidt, portrayed by Max Greenfield, resides in the loft and works as a successful marketing associate. Since college, he and Nick have been close friends. Greenfield made multiple TV appearances prior to “New Girl.”

Greenfield received numerous nods for his performance as Schmidt at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Greenfield has worked on a large number of additional TV episodes and movies since the debut of “New Girl.” In films like “The Big Short” (2015) and “Promising Young Woman,” he has appeared (2020). The actor most recently appeared in “The Valet” (2022).

#7 Lamorne Morris as Winston Bishop

Source: Fox

Following the pilot, Winston, played by Lamorne Morris, was a regular on the program. He is renowned in the loft for being terrible at practical jokes and for raising Ferguson the cat. Morris’ breakout performance was as Winston.

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Morris has since made numerous film and television appearances. Morris continued his career by appearing in films including “Game Night” (2018), “The Christmas Chronicles” (2018), “Yesterday” (2019), “Jumanji: The Next Level” (2019), and “Desperados” (2019). (2020).

In addition, he has made several TV appearances. Right now, he is the star of “Woke” on Hulu. Morris is the third host on the “New Girl” rewatch podcast.

#8 Merritt Wever as Elizabeth

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Elizabeth, Schmidt’s ex-college sweetheart, was portrayed by Merritt Wever.

Previously, Wever participated in a number of TV episodes and films, including NBC’s “Law & Order,” CBS’s “The Good Wife,” Into the Wild” (2007), and “The Missing Person” (2009).

Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Wever joined the casts of “The Walking Dead” on AMC and “Godless” on Netflix after “New Girl.” Among other movies, she has appeared in “Birdman” (2014), “Irreplaceable You” (2018), and “Marriage Story” (2019).

#9 Hannah Simone as Cece Parekh

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Hannah Simone portrays Cece, the best friend of Jess the model.

Simone herself worked in the fashion industry from a very young age and was a model before “New Girl.” In Canada, she worked as a VJ for MuchMusic and hosted many music TV shows.

Source: Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Since “New Girl,” Simone has made a few cameos in movies including “Oldboy” (2013). Alongside Kate Upton and Génesis Rodriguez, she was also a part of the 2013 Gillette “What Women Want” advertisement.

She has also served as a guest judge on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and has hosted reality programs including “Kicking & Screaming” on television. Simone co-hosts the “New Girl” rewatch podcast with Deschanel.

#10 David Walton as Sam Sweeney

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Sam, a recurring character who worked as a pediatrician, was one of Jess’ boyfriends and was portrayed by David Walton.

Walton appeared in “Burlesque,” “Fired Up,” Fox’s “Cracking Up,” and “Cracking Up” before “New Girl” (2010).

Source: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Walton afterward appeared in numerous films and on television. He appeared in television productions such as “About a Boy” on NBC, “Masters of Sex” on Showtime, and “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix.

Additionally, he has acted in comedies like “Bad Moms” (2016).

#11 Rob Reiner as Bob Day

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Bob Reiner portrayed Bob Day, Jess’s father.

Michael Stivic was Reiner’s breakthrough character on CBS’ “All in the Family.” A well-known director, Reiner received nods for “Stand by Me” (1986), “When Harry Met Sally” (1989), and “A Few Good Men” (1992), the latter of which also garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

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Reiner has performed in films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) and “And So It Goes” after joining the cast of “New Girl” (2014). He has also been cast in TV programs like Netflix’s “Hollywood” and Paramount+’s “The Good Fight.”

#12 Megan Fox as Reagan Lucas

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Regan, a ballerina-turned-businesswoman played by Megan Fox, briefly resides in the loft and dates Nick.

Fox had a number of film roles prior to her portrayal of Reagan, including “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” (2004), “Transformers” (2007), “The Dictator” (2012), “This is 40” (2012), and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014).

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Since then, Fox has acted in a variety of thrillers and action films. Fox has appeared in the films “Rogue” (2020), “Till Death” (2021), and “Midnight in the Switchgrass” (2021).

She most recently portrayed Kennedy in the 2022 movie “Good Mourning” by Machine Gun Kelly.

#13 Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Ernie “Coach” Tagliaboo, another of Jess’ housemates, was portrayed by Damon Wayans Jr. on a limited basis.

Wayans has a long career in the movie production industry. Before “New Girl,” he appeared in a few movies and TV shows with his kin, such as “Blankman” (1994) and ABC’s “My Wife and Kids.”

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Wayans Jr. has made numerous television and film appearances since “New Girl,” including on CBS’ “Happy Together” and in the movies “Let’s Be Cops,” “How to Be Single” (2016), “Love, Guaranteed” (2020), and “Long Weekend” (2021).

The actor has lent his voice to films like Disney’s “Big Hero 6.”

#14 Dermot Mulroney as Russell Schiller

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Russell, another recurring figure who dates Jess, was portrayed by Dermot Mulroney.

Mulroney is best recognized for playing the lead in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997). He made a memorable appearance as Gavin Mitchell, Rachel’s successor at work, in the ninth season of NBC’s “Friends.”

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Since then, Mulroney has appeared in movies including “Deadly Illusions” and “The Mountain Between Us” (2021). He has made TV appearances on programs including “Mozart in the Jungle” on Amazon Prime and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” on Hulu.

Mulroney recently had an appearance in “Along for the Ride,” in addition to his appearances in “The Mountain Between Us” (2017) and “Deadly Illusions” (2021). (2022).

#15 Nasim Pedrad as Aly Nelson

Source: FOX/Getty Images

In later seasons of “New Girl,” Nasim Pedrad portrayed Aly Nelson, Winston’s LAPD partner.

From 2009 through 2014, Pedrad appeared as a cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

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Since “New Girl,” Pedrad has played a variety of TV characters. Following “New Girl,” Pedrad starred alongside Morris in the live-action Disney films “Desperados” and “Aladdin” (both 2019).

#16 Lizzy Caplan as Julia Cleary

Source: FOX

Julia, who replaced Caroline as Nick’s first committed girlfriend, was portrayed by Lizzy Caplan.

Before landing the part in “New Girl,” she previously acted in movies like “Mean Girls” (2004), “My Best Friend’s Girl” (2008), “Hot Tub Time Machine” (2010), and “127 Hours” (2010).

Source: Rich Polk/Getty Images

For her depiction of Virginia Johnson in “Masters of Sex,” Caplan has won two Satellite Awards and a Critics’ Choice Award since “New Girl.” Along with “The Interview,” “Now You See Me 2,” “Allied,” and “Extinction,” Caplan has been in other films.

#17 Justin Long as Paul Genzlinger

Source: FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

In “New Girl,” Justin Long portrayed Paul, a recurring character who dated Jess for a short while.

In addition to TV shows like Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” Long has had successful parts in Hollywood movies like “Jeepers Creepers” (2001), “The Break-Up” (2006), “He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009), and “Going the Distance” (2010).

Source: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

Since “New Girl,” Long has appeared in episodes of “Mom” on CBS and “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central.

Long has acted in movies including “Veronica Mars” (2014), “Frank and Lola” (2016), and “Lady of the Manor,”(2021).

#18 Julian Morris as Ryan Geauxinue

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Ryan Geauxinue, played by Julian Morris, is a British science teacher who falls in love with Jess.

He appeared in the TV shows “Fish” on the BBC, “ER” on NBC, “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family, and “Once Upon a Time” on ABC.

Source: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

After “New Girl”, he has made appearances in a number of horror movies and TV series in supporting parts. Morris has been in “The Good Fight,” “The Morning Show,” and “Little Women” on Apple TV+. The actor has also been seen in a variety of scary movies, including “Something Wicked” (2014).

#19 Nelson Franklin as Robby McFerrin

Source: FOX/Getty Images

Robby, portrayed by Nelson Franklin, is a lovely guy who dates Cece and, later on, Jess.

The actor has previously appeared in “I Love You, Man” (2009) and “The Office” on NBC.

Source: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Later, he appeared in the films “Argo” (2012), “Jobs” (2013), and “Captain Marvel” (2019). Franklin has also made appearances on TV programs like “The Millers” on CBS, “Arrested Development” on Netflix, “Black-ish” on ABC, and “Veep” on HBO.

Additionally, he has made appearances in other films, such as “Argo” (2012), “Jobs” (2013), and “Captain Marvel” (2019).

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