'New Girl' Star, Max Greenfield, Initially Hated His Character

Max Greenfield has appeared on a variety of different shows, but he is best known for portraying Schmidt on New Girl. The series that ran from 2011 until 2018 relied on an ensemble cast to make it great. Greenfield’s Schmidt quickly became a fan favorite, though. If executive producers had listened to Greenfield, Schmidt would have been a much different character, though. In fact, Schmidt might have been so different that it may have ruined the beloved series.

Who was Schmidt in New Girl?

Schmidt was introduced in the pilot episode of New Girl. He was largely responsible for allowing Jess Day to move into the loft. In the pilot, he theorized that since Jess was friends with models, she would be able to hook him and his loft mates up with girls. Schmidt, pretty quickly, falls for CeCe Parekh, Jess’ best friend, and spends several seasons attempting to woo her. Eventually, Schmidt married CeCe, and the two ended the series with two children. 

Schmidt was well known among his friends as being peculiar, obsessed with money and power, and a bit obsessive. His catchphrases and strange antics often forced him to add money to a jar the roommates kept known as “the Douchebag Jar.” Fans of the series argue that Schmidt had three distinctive phases during the show’s run.  

Max Greenfield originally thought Schmidt was going to be too much for people

Greenfield wasn’t initially sold on the way Schmidt was written. According to Screen Rant, Greenfield was concerned that Schmidt was just too obnoxious and over the top to be likable. Apparently, he was so worried about the way the character was written that he approached the show’s executive producer, Jake Kasdan, about toning down the character.

Reportedly, Greenfield was worried that viewers wouldn’t be able to handle Schmidt in large doses. His concerns turned out to be unfounded. Not only did viewers have no issue handling Schmidt, but they ended up adoring him. The character turned out to be a breakout star, but the way the ensemble cast played off of each other may have had something to do with that, too.

The character turned out to be a fan favorite

Schmidt ended up being a fan favorite for the duration of New Girl. In fact, it seemed as though Schmidt could do nothing wrong in the eyes of the viewer. That was likely thanks to Greenfield. After his initial trepidation wore off, Greenfield ran with the character. In an interview with Indie Wire, Greenfield explained that he was free to go big with jokes because his character was not supposed to be grounded.

Greenfield explained that in the early days of the series, it was clear that Nick and Jess’s storyline was going to be interwoven. That left him free to be the “big joke hitter.” Greenfield didn’t disappoint. Schmidt, according to fans, was absolutely the funniest character in the series, even if he was a bit eccentric.

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