‘New Girl’ Zooey Deschanel Doesn’t Know Why Everyone Thinks She’s Weird

If you’re a subscriber to Marie Claire, you may want to start keeping your hipster boyfriend away from the mailbox until the next issue arrives—because the upcoming cover girl is none other than indie megacrush object Zooey Deschanel. (And if you don’t do that? Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you when the mag goes missing and then turns up weeks later covered in man drool.) Zooey is gazing out from beneath her trademark blunt bangs on the front of the May issue, and inside, she’s got a few things to say about her current career, her past life as a fat kid and her inescapable reputation as a sexy weirdo.

The bad news: If you’re looking for some insights into how Zooey became the poster girl for all things adorably quirky, she’s as mystified by it as anyone else.

“People do think I’m weird,” she admitted. “I don’t know why.”
More importantly: whatever she’s doing to earn all the awards for adorkability, you can count on her doing it very well and for quite a long time. Said Zooey, “I’m a person who gets better with practice. Getting older is awesome—because you get more practice.”

And with the actress finally experiencing her moment of first-class A-list stardom after a decade of working in Hollywood—culminating in her Golden Globe-nominated headlining role on “New Girl”—practice is what she’s getting. Which, according to her, is exactly what she’s always wanted and worked toward.

“I always knew there was nothing else I wanted to do,” she explained. “I wanted to sing, perform, act.”

But if you’re still looking for the reason behind Zooey’s magic, relatable sex appeal (a.k.a. the thing that makes nerds love her with the white-hot intensity of a thousand ironic T-shirt-wearing suns), it might just be hidden in her past—which, despite her current success status as a bona fide celebrity, still makes her wince with recognition.

“I still have in me the same awareness when I was 12 and chubby and a girl was spitting in my face. I’m the same person,” she said. “Certainly you change, and you change perspective, you have other experiences. But isn’t it funny—I can still remember when I was treated differently from the way I’m treated now.”

Do you dig Zooey’s weirdo appeal, or is quirky not really your thang?