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She has French, Swiss and Irish ancestry and was raised Roman Catholic. In high school, she attended Crossroads, a performing arts school in Santa Monica and spent six months studying theatre at Northwestern University before leaving to pursue an acting career. Zooey has an older sister, Emily, who stars on the television show "Bones."
Zooey made her TV debut in the television show "Veronica's Closet." Her film debut came with "Mumford." She landed a slew of supporting roles in films, including "Almost Famous," "Elf," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Failure to Launch," "Bridge to Terabithia," "The Happening," "Yes Man," and "(500) Days of Summer." Zooey Deschanel currently stars on television's "New Girl." She has been called a "manic pixie dream girl."
Zooey Deschanel has also appeared in the music video "She's Got Issues."
Aside from acting, Zooey Deschanel also sings, performing in the group "She and Him." She also launched HelloGiggles, an entertainment website geared towards women.
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When asked about the biggest mistakes men make, Zooey said, "Being disingenuous isn't good from my perspective. Women are won over by people who are sweet and respectful and pretty and kind and funny " those are the things that win women over. And the mistake that anyone can make is not being themselves. You can only trick people for so long" (askmen.com).
Zooey Deschanel married "Death Cab for Cute" frontman Ben Gibbard in 2009, but they divorced in 2011. She told Marie Claire, "Honestly, I'm just going through a divorce, so I don't really think [dating] is something I want to get into now. I don't have time to date. I literally don't have time."
Zooey doesn't see children in her future. "My sister was always very motherly, babysitting and stuff. I like kids, and I like being around kids, but it was never an ambition " something, like, I need. I like working. That's what I like doing. I like to work."
Zooey Deschanel said of her "New Girl" fame, "It's harder to do normal things. I think that if you haven't been to the grocery store in a really long time, it's easy to get very out of touch." She added, "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. Certainly, you change, and you change perspective, you have other experiences. But isn't that funny? I can still remember when I was treated differently from the way I'm treated now."
Zooey Deschanel lives in Los Angeles.
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Born in Los Angeles, Zooey Claire Deschanel is named after a male character from J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey."