by Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood ReporterJanuary 30, 2014
Excerpted from the article "'New Girl' Creator Liz Meriwether Talks Prince, Super Bowl Pressure and Letting Zooey Sing"
So you first tried to get Prince on the show last year?
We thought it was would be really fun if Cece [Hannah Simone] lost her virginity to Prince in that flashback episode ["Virgins"], so we offered him that role and he couldn't. He said, "I'm a big fan. I'd love to do the show at some point in the future." I think I didn't really take that seriously because, you know, that can't be true. And then we were contacted by his manager in the beginning of this season that he was serious.
And he's no stranger to the Super Bowl.
They approached us right about the same time Fox gave us the post-Super Bowl slot, so we built the episode around him. He was really involved in the planning of it and emailing back and forth about what he wanted to do on the show, collaborating with us. It's a really fun, crazy, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How long was he on set?
I think he shot for two days. He performs a song in the episode, and he also acts. He has a bunch of scenes with Zooey. He plays ping-pong with Hannah.
Does Prince have a ping-pong stand-in or did he really play?
Prince is fantastic at ping-pong, like maybe one of the best I've ever seen, which is amazing because I kind of think you can only be really good at one thing -- but you can be really good at a lot of things if you're Prince. He told Hannah to practice. She actually got one back at him during the first take, and he was genuinely surprised that she could score a point off of him.
This is not the most organic thing to happen to these characters. How easy was it for you to write Prince into a storyline?
We went through a couple scripts where it didn't feel like our show. It was funny, but it didn't feel real. These are real characters, so it was actually a huge priority that we kept it feeling like the show -- even though these huge, semi-implausible things are happening. It is a Super Bowl episode, so we also have a little bit of leeway. I remember one pitch that we didn't do involved Prince playing the lead singer of a Prince cover band. That would have felt a little more like what would actually happen to our characters, but there's a great wish fulfillment kind of fun and a slightly fantastical feeling to this episode that I really like.
Read the full article at The Hollywood Reporter here