Zooey Claire Deschanel (January 17th, 1980) is an American actress, and if you're watching one of her performances, chances are she's either a Deadpan Snarker, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, or both. She's acted in Almost Famous, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Elf, Tin Man, Failure to Launch, The Happening, Bridge to Terabithia, Yes Man and (500) Days of Summer. She also has a starring role in the long-running Fox sitcom New Girl. She will appear on Broadway soon, having been selected by country music legend Loretta Lynn to portray her in a musical adaptation of the movie "Coal Miners Daughter".
In addition to acting, Deschanel is also a talented singer, songwriter and keyboardist, and is one half of the indie folk/indie pop (or as she once described it, "arena folk") duo She & Him (the other half being singer/guitarist/producer M. Ward), and a couple of her movies include at least one scene where she sings. She & Him have made three albums to date, titled Volume One (released March 18, 2008), Volume Two (released March 23, 2010) and A Very She and Him Christmas (released October 24, 2011).
Her father Caleb is an award-winning cinematographer (best known for his work on such films as Being There and The Passion of the Christ), and her mother Mary Jo and sister Emily are both actresses as well, the former best known for playing Annie Glenn in The Right Stuff and the latter as Bones. She appeared as Bones' cousin in an episode of the latter. She also was married to Death Cab for Cutie lead singer/FaceOfTheBand Ben Gibbard from 2009 until 2011.
Not really the sister of Gloria Deschanel.
- Adorkable: Frequently. Her New Girl character is even called this in promotional material. Abby Elliott's SNL parody of her overuses the the term, too.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Imagine if Syd Barrett and Norm MacDonald had a love-child...
- Deadpan Snarker: Like Norm MacDonald level of deadpan.
- Dull Surprise: One of the chief criticisms of her acting style is that her face and voice do not emote well. Some, however find it endearing.
- Possibly lampshaded in The Happening when her character says she's really bad at expressing herself.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Just try saying her last name without effecting a slight French accent.
- Hipster, though she's not crazy about being every Hipster boy's dream girl.
- Ill Girl: Her eating choices are somewhat limited, considering she has Celiac disease and is allergic to eggs and dairy in addition to being a vegan. One can only begin to imagine the difficulties Ben Gibbard must have had in dating her (How 'bout a cheese sandwich...wait, never mind, how about a tofu...no, that's still a sandwich...Screw this, let's go to the Indian place next door. You like curry?)
- Apparently, she is also either allergic to, or preferably intolerant of, soy. Has given up on strict veganism in deference to wanting more to eat than lettuce.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Most of her characters fit this trope.
- Meganekko: Her first main-story scene in Hitchhiker's.
- It looks like she'll also be one of these at least part of the time in New Girl. See the network promo.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Shower Scene
- Tomboyish Name: She's named after the male protagonist in J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey. It's basically just "Zoe" spelled differently.
- Typecasting: In Manic Pixie Dream Girl and/or Deadpan Snarker roles.