Zooey Deschanel – 30+ Sexy, Free Images to Have Fun With

Zooey Claire Deschanel (/ˈzoʊi ˌdeɪʃəˈnɛl/; born January 17, 1980)[1] is an American actress, model, and singer-songwriter. She made her film debut in Mumford (1999) and next obtained a supporting role in Cameron Crowe‘s film Almost Famous (2000). Deschanel is known for her deadpan roles in comedy films such as The Good Girl (2002), The New Guy (2002), Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Yes Man (2008) and 500 Days of Summer (2009).[2][3][4] She has ventured into more dramatic territory with Manic (2001), All the Real Girls (2003), Winter Passing (2005), and Bridge to Terabithia (2007).[5][6] From 2011 to 2018, she played Jess Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which she received an Emmy Award nomination and three Golden Globe Award nominations.

For a few years starting in 2001, Deschanel performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with actress Samantha Shelton.[7] In 2006, Deschanel teamed up with M. Ward to form She & Him, and subsequently released their debut album, Volume One, in 2008. They have since released five albums: Volume Two, in 2010, A Very She & Him Christmas in 2011, Volume 3 in 2013, Classics in 2014, and Christmas Party in 2016. She received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media for “So Long”, which was featured in the 2011 film Winnie the Pooh soundtrack. Besides singing, she plays keyboards, percussion, banjo, and ukulele.[8]

Zooey Deschanel is also a co-founder of the female-focused website HelloGiggles, which was acquired by Time, Inc. in 2015.[9]

Early life – Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel was born in Los AngelesCalifornia[1], the younger daughter of cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir). Her paternal grandfather was French, from OullinsRhône and her paternal grandmother came from a Quaker family; she also has SwissDutchEnglishIrish, and other French ancestry.[10][11] She was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J. D. Salinger‘s 1961 novella Franny and Zooey.[12] Her older sister is actress Emily Deschanel, who starred in the Fox crime comedy-drama series Bones.[13][14]

Zooey Deschanel lived in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood traveling because her father shot films on location; she later said that she:[15][unreliable source?]

… hated all the traveling… I’m really happy now that I had the experience, but at the time I was just so miserable to have to leave my friends in Los Angeles and go to places where they didn’t have any food I liked or things I was used to.— Zooey Deschanel

She attended Crossroads, a private preparatory school in Santa Monica, where she befriended future co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson.[12][16] She sang throughout high school, planning to pursue a career in musical theatre and attending French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts.[11] She attended Northwestern University for nine months before dropping out to pursue acting.[15][17]

Acting career – Zooey Deschanel

1999–2002: Early acting credits

Zooey Deschanel had a guest appearance on the television series Veronica’s Closet in 1998 and made her film debut in Lawrence Kasdan‘s comedy Mumford (1999), revolving around the neurotic residents in a small town and co-starring Hope DavisJason LeeAlfre Woodard and Mary McDonnell. Also in 1999, she appeared (non-singing) in the music video for The Offspring‘s single “She’s Got Issues“.

Deschanel co-starred in Cameron Crowe‘s semi-autobiographical Almost Famous (2000), where she played Anita Miller, the rebellious older sister of a teenage journalist. Despite a modest box office response, the film received critical praise,[18] winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Film – Musical or Comedy. Deschanel appeared in the independent drama Manic (2001), as the love interest of a troubled teen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited theatrical release. The New York Times found Deschanel to be “particularly spontaneous, unaffected and emotionally direct” in her role.[19]

Following early notice, Deschanel took on supporting parts in four feature films released throughout 2002: Big TroubleThe New GuyThe Good Girl, and Abandon. In the comedy Big Trouble, with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, she played the daughter of a devoted and reluctant woman, and in the teen comedy The New Guy, starred as a guitar player in a band.

Zooey Deschanel portrayed a cynical, plain-spoken young woman working in a big-box store in the black dramedy The Good Girl, opposite Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. The psychological thriller Abandon saw her play the roommate of a woman involved in her boyfriend’s disappearance. Deschanel also made a one-episode appearance in Frasier, as an out-of-control young woman. 

The New York Times reported that Deschanel was “one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young stars”,[12] in 2002, and the Los Angeles Times wrote in early 2003 that Deschanel had become a recognizable type, due to “her deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing [film] performances” as the protagonist’s best friend.[11] Deschanel objected to her typecasting, arguing, “A lot of these roles are just a formula idea of somebody’s best friend, and it’s like, I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time, so I don’t know how I’m everybody’s best friend now.”[11]

2003–2010: Breakthrough – Zooey Deschanel

Deschanel obtained her first leading film role debut in the independent drama All the Real Girls (2003) as Noel, a sexually curious 18-year-old virgin who has a life-changing romance with an aimless 22-year-old.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was an arthouse success. Her performance received wide critical acclaim,[11] and Variety remarked: “Performances are all credible and naturalistic, but standing out from the rest is Deschanel’s work, which evinces an impressively direct connection to her character’s emotions.

The actress does a wonderful job presenting a young woman who is trying, with varying degrees of success, to give voice to all sorts of things she has never felt or expressed before”.[20] She received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress.

Also in 2003, Deschanel starred opposite Will Ferrell in the Christmas comedy Elf as a deadpan department store worker and the love interest of a man raised by Santa’s elves.[22] Reviewers found the film to be a “spirited, good natured family comedy”, as part of an overall positive critical response,[23] and budgeted at US$33 million, Elf made US$220.4 million worldwide.[24]Deschanel at the 2012 PaleyFest

In 2004, Zooey Deschanel starred in Eulogy and in 2005, she played Trillian in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams‘s science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. She acted in Winter Passing (2005), co-starring Will Ferrell. Deschanel next appeared in Failure to Launch (2006), as the neurotic roommate of Sarah Jessica Parker‘s character. She also had a recurring role in four episodes of the Showtime television series Weeds from 2006 to 2007 where she played Kat, Andy Botwin‘s quirky ex-girlfriend.

In September 2006, it was announced that Deschanel had signed on to play 1960s singer Janis Joplin in the film The Gospel According to Janis, to be co-written and directed by Penelope Spheeris.[25] The film was scheduled to begin shooting in 2006, but was then postponed indefinitely;[26] it was then resurrected again, with a planned release date of 2012, before being cancelled altogether in 2011. Deschanel expressed frustration with the cancellation, saying she had spent three years working on imitating Joplin’s scratchy singing voice.[27]

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In 2007, Deschanel appeared in Bridge to Terabithia, in which she played a quirky music teacher, and the animated film Surf’s Up, voicing a penguin. She took on the brief role of Dorothy Evans in the revisionist Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and starred in the B comedy Flakes, which was released in only one theater.

Deschanel starred as DG in the Syfy Channel miniseries Tin Man, a re-imagined science fiction version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It aired in December 2007. Deschanel also narrated the children’s book Players in Pigtails.[29] She voiced Mary, Cletus‘s daughter in three episodes of The Simpsons since debuting on the April 27, 2008 episode, “Apocalypse Cow“.[30]

In M. Night Shyamalan‘s thriller The Happening (2008), she starred opposite Mark Wahlberg as a couple trying to escape from an inexplicable natural disaster. Despite largely negative reviews, critic Roger Ebert felt that Wahlberg and Deschanel’s performances “bring a quiet dignity to their characters”,[31] and globally, the film made US$163 million.

She starred in the independent comedy Gigantic (2008), which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed for a limited release in certain parts of the United States only. In the comedy Yes Man (also 2008), she played an unorthodox singer and the girlfriend of Jim Carrey‘s character.[33] The film grossed US$223.1 million around the world.[34]

Deschanel reunited with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the independent romantic drama about the development and demise of a relationship (500) Days of Summer (2009).[35] The film garnered critical acclaim and became a “sleeper hit“, earning over $60 million in worldwide returns, far exceeding its $7.5 million budget.

Mark Adams of the Daily Mirror found the film to be a “modern romance for grown-ups” and a “sweet-natured, funny, deeply-romantic tale” blessed with “top-notch performances by Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt, who are both charming and have real chemistry”.[39] In December 2009, Deschanel guest-starred in a Christmas episode of the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama Bones, which was the first-ever on-screen pairing of the Deschanel sisters.[40][41]

2011–2018: New Girl – Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards

Zooey Deschanel starred in the comedy Our Idiot Brother (2011) as the independent and bisexual sister of a dimwitted but idealistic man (Paul Rudd). The production was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, to a generally positive critical reception.[42] She played Belladonna in the stoner fantasy-comedy Your Highness (2011), with Danny McBride and James Franco.

The film received negative reviews and bombed at the box office.[44] Describing her role, Roger Ebert noted in its review for the film: “[Zooey Deschanel is] brought onstage, quickly kidnapped by an evil sorcerer, spends a good deal of time as a captive in his lair, is rescued and lives happily ever after. She might as well be a mannequin, for all she’s given to say and do. This intelligent, nuanced actress, standing there baffled. Used as a placeholder”.[45]

Deschanel signed on to star as a bubbly and offbeat teacher Jessica “Jess” Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, created by Elizabeth Meriwether. She became a producer on the show and helped build the character,[46] which she has described as a part of her, especially in regards to “the sort of enthusiasm and optimism” of her youth.

The series premiered in September 2011, and USA Today described her performance as “a role tailored to launch her from respected indie actor to certified [television] star, Deschanel soars, combining well-honed skills with a natural charm”.[48] She has received an Emmy Award nomination and three Golden Globe nominations for her role.[49][50] The series finale ran on May 15, 2018.[51]

Deschanel hosted Saturday Night Live on February 11, 2012.[52]

In Rock the Kasbah (2015), she played a Los Angeles singer taken to Afghanistan by her former manager (Bill Murray). Despite a US$15 million budget, the comedy only made US$3 million at the North American box office.

She obtained the role of a mysterious woman in the neo-noir drama The Driftless Area (2015), screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and released for VOD.[54] She voiced a kind-hearted Bergen, Bridget, in the animated family comedy Trolls (2016), which grossed US$344 million worldwide.[55]

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