Zooey Deschanel rejects being labeled a manic pixie dream girl. The term, now a dated female stereotype in film and TV, became a staple in the mid-to-late 2000s to describe quirky female characters whose main purpose was to save their male counterpart or teach him about the meaning of love and life.
Deschanel became the face of manic pixie dream girls thanks to her role opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “500 Days of Summer,” and it’s a trope she never seemed to be able to escape during her career. Even though her character on the Fox comedy series “New Girl” was more fleshed out than the typical manic pixie dream girl, Deschanel’s trademark quirkiness always made her critics label her as such. Along with Deschanel in “500 Days of Summer,” popular examples of the trope included Natalie Portman in “Garden State” and Kirsten Dunst in “Elizabethtown.”
“I don’t feel it’s accurate,” Deschanel said when a fan asked her about her manic pixie dream girl label (via The Guardian). “I’m not a girl. I’m a woman. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, but it’s a way of making a woman one-dimensional and I’m not one-dimensional.”
“I think the tendency is still to make women one-dimensional, so you have to add dimension, if you can,” Deschanel continued. “The more screen time a female character gets, the more space there is to show complexities, but there has been a shift, so I’m optimistic.”
Deschanel recently returned to television to co-host “The Celebrity Dating Game.” Next up for the actor is a role in director Carlos Saldanha’s adaptation of “Harold and the Purple Crayon” for Sony Pictures. The cast also includes Zachary Levi, Lil Rel Howery and Ravi Patel.