Actor Zooey Deschanel has rejected the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ tag, often attached to the 42-year-old.
The 500 Days of Summer actor said, “I don’t feel it’s accurate”, when replying to a fan, as per The Guardian. The New Girl star continued, “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”.
Deschanel added, “I think the tendency is still to make women one-dimensional, so you have to add dimension, if you can. 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.”
Manic pixie dream girl is now a dated concept but became popular as a female stereotype in films and shows in the mid to late 2000s, and was used for female characters with quirks, whose motive in the plot was to teach the male protagonist the meaning of life and love.
While Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind eventually destroyed the idea of the manic pixie dream girl, Deschanel almost became the face of the concept due to her role in 500 Days of Summer. She appeared opposite Joesph Gordon-Levitt in the movie and never seemed to be able to escape the cliche throughout her career. Even in New Girl, where Deschanel’s role was fleshed out, her character’s quirks led critics to label it as a manic pixie dream girl role.
Determined to escape the limitations of the term and showcase her versatility, Deschanel will next appear in Carlos Saldanha’s adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Other cast members include Zachary Levi, of Shazam! fame, Lil Rel Howery and Ravi Patel.
Deschanel was most recently seen on television co-hosting The Celebrity Dating Game with American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton.