Max Greenfield of 'New Girl' talks Schmidt, life and your 20s

Star of FOX's 'New Girl' visits SU, gives Q&A with students.

When asked to speak at SU, New Girl’s Max Greenfield said he would much rather come to accept his honorary degree and serve as this year’s commencement speaker.

“You guys go to the cool school,” he said Tuesday night. “Go ‘Cuse! Carmelo Anthony foreva!”

No, Greenfield didn’t go to SU, but his witty, woman-loving, Jewish-professing character, Schmidt did, and it was Schmidt who showed up to deliver a commencement-styled talk filled with advice, jokes and even a little Judaism on Tuesday night.

Photo: Shira Stoll
“We’re looking for that person who will drive the college kid crazy, and that is what he is," said Hillel executive director Brian Small about Max Greenfield's appearance in Goldstein Auditorium Tuesday.

“Tonight, consider me your teacher,” said Greenfield. “I have a beard.”

After a brief tally of how many Jewish people, non-Jewish people and “Rachel’s” there were in the audience, Greenfield spent the first half of his visit joking and talking life.

“I’m guessing a majority of you have no idea who you are yet,” Greenfield said. He said your 20s are a fun, terrifying time during which many people think the world is against them.

“Your 20s will most likely suck real hard,” he said. His advice? “Don’t think about it.”

“I try to do that in general,” he said, so that “everything is a surprise.”

Greenfield devoted the second half of his stage time to a question and answer session with the audience. Here’s a taste of how that Q & A went. The questions are paraphrased.

Who would you Kill/Marry/Sleep with from the cast of New Girl?

He said he would marry Winston, “because that guy needs a break,” and sleep with Coach. “I’m super into black guys,” he said.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

“The embarrassment happens every day,” he said.

Greenfield told a story from his time in college. He was in an elevator, and was asked if he was the guy doing flips on a table with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand. He said he responded by saying that he couldn’t really remember. A friend pointed out that it was, indeed, him.

“I majored in ‘realizing that it’s not for me’,” said Greenfield.

What’s your favorite song, and can you sing some of it?

“I haven’t warmed up at all,” said Greenfield, and, after a few moments of silence, “I’m trying to remember the words to ‘Let It Go’.”

In a later question about who he would “fan girl” over, he said that Kristen Bell, who plays the voice of Anna in Disney’s Frozen, is a longtime friend of his, and he once had Bell call his daughter, Lily, on the phone. He said that having a daughter has made him like the Disney Princesses, too.

What drew you to Schmidt’s character when you read the script?

“It was a job,” said Greenfield. “You hope to get lucky and kind of find it on the way.”

Is it frustrating being so “devilishly handsome?”

 “It’s the burden I bear, I suppose,” he said.*

*He uses Kevin Murphy Night Rider Matte Texture Paste for his hair, in case you’re wondering.

Also during the Q & A, Simeon Garvin asked Greenfield to put a dollar in his personal Douchebag Jar (Schmidt’s Douchebag Jar – where his roommates make him put money every time he acts like a ‘douchebag’ – is a running joke on New Girl.)

“He’s got the spontaneity; he’s got all the quick one-liners,” said Garvin, a radiation therapist at SUNY Upstate, after the show. “He brings all the comedic action for me.”

“We knew we hit gold when we were starting to tell people that we were looking into it,” said Brian Small, the executive director at Hillel. “We’re looking for that person who will drive the college kid crazy, and that is what he is.”

Small said that the unique format of the evening was Greenfield’s idea. Small said Greenfield wanted to “vamp” for 20 minutes, and then use the rest of the time for the audience to ask questions.

Though the line between Schmidt and Greenfield was blurred the entire evening, Greenfield provided a good laugh, some sound advice, and a good, timely reminder to register for Hillel’s Passover Seder.


Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.