Jake Johnson: New Girl’s New Guy

After a string of gay-inclusive projects, New Girl star Jake Johnson talks about kissing costar Max Greenfield, bonding with his gay college roommate, and being too fat for Fox.



Johnson in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas


Speaking of gay dads, in Fox’s short-lived animated series Allen Gregory you voiced Joel Zadak, a cool jock who bullies the titular nerd with two fathers. Were you ever on either end of bullying?
No, neither. But I would like to tell kids who are being bullied today that I know they’ll be stronger because of it, so don’t give up, even though I know it’s hard. And to the bullies, I just want to say, Fuck you. I get it, you suck, but stop making other people hate life as much as you hate yourself. I’m older, so I realize that the only reason you’re making fun of others is that you’re insecure. Guess what? You are right to be insecure. You're terrible. So stop it and leave other kids alone.

You played the principal in 21 Jump Street and had great lines like “I’m one more black gay kid getting punched in the face away from a nervous breakdown.” That movie might be the most homoerotic straight buddy comedy ever, right?
Oh, yeah. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are fun dudes, so I just know that they were doing absolutely anything in the moment for a laugh on that movie.

Are you aware of its recent gay porn parody, 21 Hump Street?
That’s incredible. I was not aware of it, but I’m sure you’re very aware of it.

Should I send you my copy?
Please don’t.

You also played Jesus in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and shared a memorable scene with Neil Patrick Harris. What was NPH like?
Well, we were both surrounded by a bunch of bare breasts, so meeting NPH in that situation was a little strange. But even in that weirdo environment, he couldn’t have been nicer, cooler, or more professional. I saw very quickly what makes him so special. I respect him a lot.

Did you base your portrayal of Jesus on anyone in particular?
Uh, yeah. I based him on Jesus.

You have a few movies coming out next year. Is there one in particular that the gay audience should look out for?
In Drinking Buddies, which stars Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde, I have the biggest beard on my face that I’ve ever had. So you will get to see a cub with a bear’s beard.

Are there any gay storylines coming up on New Girl?
June Diane Raphael will be back as Dr. Sadie, Jess’s lesbian gynecologist friend, and there’s a big storyline with her that involves a lesbian couple, fertility, and getting older. Kay Cannon, who wrote Pitch Perfect, wrote the episode. But Liz Meriwether is so open and doesn’t see a divide between the straight and gay communities, so she’s all about gay characters just naturally being a part of the landscape of our show. And if we continue to move forward with the show, I can guarantee there will be a lot more gay characters.