Max Greenfield strikes ‘a bit of gold’ as Schmidt on ‘New Girl’ [Video]

“We struck a bit of gold early on in just finding some of Schmidt’s vulnerability,” said Max Greenfield regarding his breakout character on the Fox comedy series “New Girl.” “Because of that, he became a safe character to the audience. Because of that, we were able to get away with a lot.”

In a video interview with Gold Derby, he added, “I would not put myself in this same category, but certainly guys like Steve Carell on ‘The Office‘ created a similar vibe with Michael Scott in that early on he never had bad intentions, and you always felt like the joke was on him no matter how bad or how terrible what he was saying was. We’ve managed to find that same sort of niche with Schmidt, and it’s definitely benefited the character and benefited the show.”

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On the hit freshman show, Schmidt (no first name given) is one of three male roommates of Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel). He is an obsessive compulsive womanizer and the only man who works in his office. He lusts after Cece (Hannah Simone), the model friend of Jess, and by mid-season was secretly and frequently having sex with her but no romantic relationship.

In recent years, Greenfield has had small but memorable roles on “Veronica Mars” and “Ugly Betty.” Regarding his audition and hiring for “New Girl,” he recalled, “Look, I was so happy to get the pilot. I tested for so many shows before this, and going into this pilot season (in 2011), I just had the mindframe of I just want to get a pilot. If I’m lucky, it will be one I’m excited about. If I’m really lucky, it’ll be a role that I like. So to land this one, I knew how rare it was, so I felt like I had won so long ago, anything that happened after that has been just gravy.”

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According to the Gold Derby odds, Greenfield is likely to reap an Emmy bid for Best Comedy Supporting Actor. He is predicted to be nominated in the sixth position with odds of 50 to 1 to win. The men ranked ahead of him are last year’s “Modern Family” nominees (Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed ONeill, and Eric Stonestreet) and “Parks and Recreation“‘s Nick Offerman.

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