WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Zooey Deschanel is almost bubbling over with excitement: Her show “New Girl” is a hit, she just released a pop song with Prince, she’s working on a movie with Bill Murray and Bruce Willis, and now she’s sitting in a Tommy Hilfiger store filled with racks of dresses she helped design.
It’s fitting, then, that bubbles are a theme of her new fashion collaboration with Hilfiger, To Tommy From Zooey.
A self-described “fabric nerd” known for her bright blue eyes, long bangs and retro-inspired dresses, Deschanel spent two years working with the designer to create a collection of flirty frocks based on her own personal style.
“It makes me so happy when people like them. And I love all the dresses,” she beamed. “It’s almost like I got a whole new closet full of clothes!”
Wearing a cream-colored dress from the collection, the 34-year-old actress talked with The Associated Press about working with Prince, being true to herself and what the future holds for “New Girl” couple Nick and Jess.
AP: There are 16 dresses in your new collection. Will Jess get to wear some on “New Girl”?
Deschanel: She’s wearing three of them in the final episode, actually. It was really lucky. Everything took place on a boat, and I said to our costume designer, `Do you think it would be OK to put some of the dresses in the mix?’ …So we got some press samples and then they all got chosen! They didn’t even know they were my dresses, either!
AP: Prince guest-starred on the show, and you have a single out together. Are you two buds now?
Deschanel: He’s very mysterious. I couldn’t venture to call him my bud. He’s too, like, aaaaah (she looks skyward in reverence). He is incredibly nice and so generous and just so talented – a really wonderful person and I feel lucky to know him. It’s cool because I make records with (my indie-folk duo) She & Him. We’ve made four records, but we’ve never been a pop band. The Prince thing was almost by accident, because (producers) said we’d like it if Jess goes up and sings with Prince, so I did a vocal for the sound department. They sent it to Prince, and the next day they’d mixed that vocal in… and then they released it! It’s so exciting.
AP: As a producer on the show, do you get a say in what happens between Jess and Nick, who coupled up this season?
Deschanel: I do to some degree. My production role is more of an on-set role and keeping a lot of stuff going, helping the ship run… So I’ll make suggestions, but I can’t be in the writers’ room because I’m on set all the time. I knew sort of where I wanted it to head and it did. This is obviously a relationship people are really invested in. And when they got us together last year, I knew that they had to break up. But I knew that once we got them together, you need to pay your dues and have them together long enough that for evermore it will be the ghost that haunts these people. I think that makes for a really interesting fourth season and I’m really excited to get into that, because I think now is where it gets interesting.
AP: Now you’re working on a film called “Rock the Kasbah.” What can you share about it?
Deschanel: It’s a movie with Bill Murray and Bruce Willis that Barry Levinson is directing. It’s about a failing music manager who goes to Afghanistan and discovers a young talent, and she goes onto be on `Afghan Idol,’ which is like `American Idol,’ and I play like a fun character role in the beginning.
AP: Between acting and music, plus your website HelloGiggles and now this fashion line, do you ever run out of creative juice?
Deschanel: That’s just how I keep going. I really never stop. It’s just if I’m getting tired in one creative outlet, I switch to another. With the website HelloGiggles, I co-founded it three years ago and it’s doing so well. It’s really fun and now I’m really involved in the business side of that. I’ve always had this theory and I stick by it and it kind of just works: If I like it, other people will like it. And it’s totally true!
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .