Zooey Deschanel has been described as adorable in virtually every single article ever written about her - including this one. But the actress told a room of reporters gathered at the Television Critics Association summer press tour's session for her new Fox comedy, "New Girl," that she doesn't think of herself that way.
"My mom told me when I get compliments to cover my ears," said Deschanel, covering her ears at a question inquiring when she first discovered that she was adorable. "I'm so embarrassed now. Thank you for saying that. I don't know if I'm adorable. I don't think of myself that way but I will take the compliment."
She should probably cover her ears whenever she sees ads for the comedy, in which she plays a woman who moves into an apartment also shared by three guys after catching her boyfriend in an act of infidelity. The promos refer to her character, Jessica, as "adorkable."
Other highlights from the "New Girl" panel:
Deschanel wrote and recorded the theme song for the show. Her musical background as the lead singer of the band She and Him (a collaboration with songwriter M. Ward) will lead to her heartbroken character spontaneously bursting into short snippets of songs -- which she referred to as "songlets."
A few reporters compared her character to the one she played in the 2009 film "500 Days of Summer," who would also break into song when the mood struck her, such as when she belted out the Smiths' classic "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out."
But Deschanel said she thought the two fictional women were only similar in one way. "The characters feel different," she said. "Obviously they look alike."
Creator Liz Meriwether said the main notable difference is that Jessica hasn't discovered the Smiths yet.
Someone asked a sarcastic question about whether Emily Deschanel, Zooey's sister, who stars in the long-running Fox drama "Bones," had given her pointers on how to navigate the unsavory business of working with Fox executives.
"She gave me hints on how to deal with the delightfulness of Fox," countered Deschanel playfully. "My experience here has been amazing."
Meriwether also addressed a salient question about how many season the "new" in the title would ring true.
"Maybe by the tenth season it will be 'Newish Girl," she joked.
"New Girl" debuts September 20 at 9 p.m.