New Girl—the show that brought us Jess, Nick, Schmidt, and a cast of hilarious misfits—celebrates its 100th episode tonight. And the episode also marks the return of Zooey Deschanel‘s Jess, who has been off the show for a while because of Zooey’s real-life pregnancy. But Megan Fox‘s Reagan, who rented Jess’s room while she was on jury duty, will stick around for one last episode so the two characters can cross paths, plenty of high jinks can occur, and their lives can become even more complicated.
At the sitcom’s recent 100th episode celebration, we caught up with the cast (sans Jake Johnson, who was in London) to discover which guest star intimidated them the most, what they remember about their audition, and their absolute favorite scene. Happy 100, New Girl! Here’s to many hilarious more.
Aside from Prince, which guest star intimidated you the most?
Zooey Deschanel: Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis. They are so lovely, but in the beginning I was like, “Oh my God!” They are icons, so I was very intimidated.
Lamorne Morris: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. ‘Cause it’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! I was so scared to talk to him, but he was the nicest person. Very cool. Very smart. He was just game for any bit that we were doing.
Max Greenfield: Peter Gallagher. I played the young him on The O.C., and now he’s playing my dad on New Girl—but it hasn’t aired yet. I really wanted to do a good job because he’s such a good actor! He came on the show, and I wanted to do him proud.
What do you remember most about your audition?
Max Greenfield: I remember the audition process probably more than the first 75 episodes of the show. [Laughs] It was crazy. I just remember feeling in my initial audition probably better than I felt in any audition in my life. I felt like, “That went really well.” Jake and I got the job on the same day, and they made Jake and I stay around for the next few weeks after we were cast to read with people auditioning for the role of Coach. Those were crazy because we kept thinking, “They’re going to blame one of us, and one of us is going to get fired,” because the Coaches were not working! But Jake and I would text each other like, “Don’t wear a blue shirt today ’cause I’m wearing a blue shirt.” We were like, “We’re two brown-haired white guys, they’re gonna figure us out!”
Hannah Simone: Man, it was crazy because you know it’s going to be something special, but you have no control. It’s like being on a date with the most perfect man in the world, and you’re like, “I hope he likes me!” That’s what it’s like. I think I actually played Cece differently from what other [actresses] did, and I think they liked it. And here we are!
Most embarrassing moment on set?
Lamorne Morris: There was a hand bell episode, and while playing them, my hands got swollen. They made fun of me for it. To make matters worse, I went to squeeze honey out of an almost-empty jar of honey, and I sprained my knuckle. Then they made fun of me for real. They used to call me Porcelain in season one.
Max Greenfield: Anything with cats or birds, I get very scared. I’ve had cats lick me. I just felt like, “This isn’t what I signed up for!” [Laughs]
What’s the craziest nickname the cast has given you?
Lamorne Morris: Porcelain. But not anymore! Now I’m strong. I’ve put on weight. I have chest hair!
Hannah Simone: Nothing—they know to call me by my full name! Don’t get it crazy now! But yes, Lamorne went by Porcelain. They don’t call me anything. No girl! They’re scared! [Laughs]
Zooey Deschanel: No. Just Zo. [Laughs]
What’s your favorite scene?
Zooey Deschanel: There was a Halloween episode—I think season three—and Jess drank all this whiskey and kept saying, “Batmobile.” I love that scene. It was just so random and weird and just came out of the moment. We kept doing it over and over again, and they kept it all in there. So much of our stuff has to get cut down for time, so it was nice that all of it ended up in there.
Lamorne Morris: There was a lot of arguing going on with Jess, Cece, Nick, etc., and I was trying to sleep because Saturday is a time for sleep. I give a very dramatic, Denzel Washington-like monologue to the loft and killed it, crushed it, and should have been nominated for an Emmy, but we know how that goes. Am I right, Oscars?
Hannah Simone: One of my favorite scenes ever was season one in the Christmas episode, when Jess and Cece lock themselves in the bathroom and eat cookies and avoid their dates. I thought it was the most relatable, and it was funny and showed the sisterhood. I really dug it.
The 100th episode of New Girl airs tonight on Fox.