Season three of “New Girl” began with romantic turmoil for Schmidt (Max Greenfield), who struggled to decide between two women he loved: Cece (Hannah Simone) and Elizabeth (Merritt Wever), whom he dated at the same time before his two-timing was revealed and he lost them both. That was the last we saw of Elizabeth, but is the door open for a possible return in the future? “I sure hope so, if only for the opportunity to have Merritt come back to the show,” said Greenfield in our recent video chat (watch below).
He added, “If you’re lucky enough to work with actors who are genuinely better than you, your game is so stepped up. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my experience working with Merritt and what she brought to the show. Man, if she could come back it would be just the best.”
After Schmidt’s double heartbreak, the character briefly took a dark turn as he tried to take revenge against Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) for their part in his comeuppance. “It was fun for a change. As an actor it was great,” said Greenfield of the character’s villainous shift. “I think ‘Breaking Bad‘ had just finished, and I think we were kind of like, yeah man, Schmidt’s gone full Walt. I think there was then an audience reaction to it. They were like, ‘Pull him back! He’s gotten too mean!’ … I can’t imagine that you would see evil Schmidt ever again in the history of ‘New Girl.'”
Schmidt eventually tried to win back Cece. Will he also win back Emmy voters, who nominated him for Best Comedy Supporting Actor in 2012? “You certainly don’t show up to work every day because you’re hoping that you’re going to win a trophy,” he said, referring also to Wever’s surprise Emmy win last year for “Nurse Jackie.” But if he is nominated again, he’s gravitating towards “Double Date” as his submission: “I like that episode. I thought it was a good one as an actor to play kind of a range of different emotions, and I liked the scene where I eventually just am wrought with guilt.”