New Girl Exclusive: Dermot Mulroney Joins the Cast as 'Big' Love Interest For Jess

New Girl is giving Jess her very own Mr. Big.

Dermot Mulroney is joining the cast of Fox’s rookie comedy as a love interest for Zooey Deschanel’s adorkably single alter ego, sources confirm to TVLine exclusively.

The 48-year-old My Best Friend’s Wedding star will play a handsome, intelligent and wealthy gentleman who also happens to be the father of one of Jess’ students. They start off disliking each other but their chemistry is undeniable.

Mulroney, whose short TV resume includes romancing  Jennifer Aniston on Friends and headlining NBC’s ill-fated Rockford Files reboot, will appear in multiple episodes of New Girl beginning in March or April.


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  1. Petra says:


    Jess seems to be having quite the love life lined up for her.

  2. Liz B. says:

    Sounds good to me! I love seeing Jess actually getting some action, since it gives dorky me hope.

    Yes, I know she’s fictional. Shush.

  3. zaza says:

    Might we see a little jealousy on Nick’s part…please?

    • Shirley says:

      Sounds good to me!You can only pretend to be uninterested so long. She obviously gets under his skin! But why does the rich guy live with all of them again?

  4. Lynn says:

    Anything to keep her away from Nick. Please.

  5. Mark says:

    Age appropriate love interest please.

    • indiebreadkid says:

      Exactly what I wanted to say…If there’s someone on TV who shouldn’t date older guys, it’s Jess, it seems a little out of character for her.

    • Natasha says:

      Good lord, agreed. Is there any reason they always have to cast a man 15+ years older for women? This guy’s going to be 50 next year for crying out loud.

      • Seeing as I’m over 50 I resemble that remark.

        • woman says:

          …do you mean resent?

          • It's a joke! says:

            It was a joke, Woman! “I resemble that remark” is a snarky way of turning the insult around on the person trying to insult 50yr-olds. Because Gary is 50+ instead of being offended and saying “Hey! I resent that!”, he’s being facetious and well-humored about it.

            Oh wait… do you know what facetious means?

          • dagwood baloney says:

            um, hey “it’s a joke!” – you are totally retarded. “gary chappelle” clearly doesn’t know what “i resemble that remark” means and used it wrong. either that or he has a really lame sense of humor, because his comment wasn’t even funny. i am pretty sure he wasn’t joking. and i don’t think he needs a dweeb like you to defend his ignorance on the internet.

    • John says:

      Once everybody’s north of 30, does it really make that much of a difference? Or, north of 23, for that matter.

    • Charity says:

      wow. I know you are not saying he’s not sexy enough for her. Not possible.

  6. Amanda says:

    Can we please stop using the term “adorkable” ? It’s so 2011.

  7. Mila says:

    Amazing news…he’s hot hot hot…

  8. CJ says:

    Why can’t we just keep Justin Long forever and ever?!

  9. Audrey says:

    SO EXCITED. I love the New Girl, and I have a huge crush on Dermot Mulroney! So what if he’s fifty next year — he could easily pass as ten years younger. Can’t wait for this! (But obviously I want Nick and Jess together in the long run ;) )

  10. claire says:

    NOOOO !
    I hated Gavin in friends ! One of the very very very few things i hated in friends…
    I hope this part will make me forget about it. New Girl is awesome, not friends like awesome but awesome enough :)

  11. Beth says:

    Oh, waiting for Jess&Nick will be long, right?

  12. Manu says:

    Nice distraction but at least it has to be Nick and Jess ;)

  13. Pidge says:

    He’s a DILF. Interesting. Hope it’s ups the show’s quality!

  14. PH says:

    I feel like this character is one in a string of guys for Jess that are the wrong type. Paul was the ‘too much like Jess’ guy and the True Blood guy will probably be the ‘hot but dumb’ guy and Dermot Mulroney will probably be the ‘older distinguished experienced too much life already’ guy. Jess will need to date a bunch of wrong guys before they put her with Nick.

  15. Lisa Lou says:

    Even though I think Dermot Mulroney is one sexy man he is just not a good fit for Jess. Too much older and not a dorky bone in his body. Loved Justin Long, he was a great match for her. Although I am still holding out for Jess and Nick to get together. I just hope it doesn’t take forever.

  16. Bridget says:

    Possible love interest usually means temporary since it is inevitable that she and nick have a go (and I think they have GREAT chemistry!). I like it. Suggestion: I think it would be funny for Schmidt and Jess to accidently hook up at some point!

  17. Kat says:

    Love interest or father figure? I love Dermot but he is way too old for her! Please get her someone more age appropriate!

    • MoiraMcL says:

      Even though I love Dermot, I have to agree. Also, why do men not have to color their hair, but women do? I find it really annoying that Dermot can somehow get away without coloring his hair!

  18. Mary says:

    New Girl takes place in LA, right? Oooh, ooh, ooh, can her student be Joseph Gordon-Levitt? And then his dad gives up custody of him, and so Jess takes JGL to a baseball game to cheer him up. Then they start dating, but also, angels are there.

    • Kim says:

      Lol! This post for the win! That is awesome. It mentions my favorite movie of all time (I will sit in front of the t.v. crying when this movie comes on).

  19. Lara hance says:

    I love Dermot but Justin seemed like such a good match for her. I kinda like the sexual chemistry that is hinted at in nick but Justin was the best choice…..hopefully Dermot’s character won’t be a major jerk. She’s to quirky and fun to be paired with someone who’s got a heavy jerkiness to them.

  20. d says:

    mmmmm, yes! can’t wait to see this. I think it’s great. Jess is always going to have a line of suitors after her. she’s cute and funny and crazy. Nick clearly has feelings for her, but none that he’s aware of yet. last episode, he missed his flight and started banging on the door so she could see the lights, all because she was sad. it was kind of his fault that her and Justin Long’s char broke up, but she wasn’t feeling the same anyway. Nick and Jess, I personally think, are going to be cute together. I don’t want the show ruined by having them together too soon though. I can wait for it to happen.

  21. Jess s. says:

    I like him and think he’s very attractive, but isn’t the 20 year age difference a little much?

  22. ggny says:

    really doesnt seem like he wouldnt fit the show…so i dont know about this casting but right now im not liking it seems like it gonna mess with the show a bit to cast a ALOT older love interest

  23. ceebee says:

    He has always been a rather Bland actor to me…..

  24. v.k. says:

    New Girl, meet Old Guy.

  25. Saracen Riggins says:

    WIN! I have a MAJOR crush on Dermot and his sexy, sexy man voice. Someone above mentioned he doens’t have a dorky bone in his body. But I don’t think every guy Jess dates needs to be a dork. A little normalcy would really balance things out nicely I think. But I do agree that Nick will be the one for her in the long run. But I am MORE than pleased with this casting choice in the meantime.

  26. Maria says:

    I love Dermot Mulrony I’m excited about this casting. I do agree that they should show a little jealousy on Nick’s side because I love Jess and Nick together. I know it’s not gonna happen right away but until then I don’t mind if Jess plays the field as long as her suitors keep being awesome. Loved Justin Long wish be could of stayed on a bit longer.

  27. Maria says:

    You mean Hot Old Guy! Lol

  28. Danielle H says:

    Love DM (super sexy).. hate this show.

  29. topsyturvy says:

    I wish the producers would study the MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW formula. Create a show around an established star, but surround her with strong actors and interesting characters so that the star’s character does not have to be the focus of each episode week after week after week.

  30. Chels says:

    Anyone with Grey hair is too old for Jess…
    I know Zooey is 31 about to be 32, but Jess is supposed to be in her “late 20’s” This guy is nearly 50, he’s literally old enough to be Jess’s father. But I get it I guess, she’s single, and dating different types of men, and we know this guy isn’t permanent, so all in all I’m okay with it.

  31. Sasha says:

    So I guess I’m one of the few people who think he’s smoking hot.

    I think It’ll work just fine. He is going to be short term after all.

    I’ll take him thats for sure

  32. cook says:

    Just put jess n nick together!!! :)

  33. Alexandra says:

    me no likey :(

    he’s cute… and definitely was hot. but do you see how I used the word “was.” I’m just saying theres too much of an age difference there and this is NOT sex and the city. I did like that show, but I might not watch New Girl anymore if they keep this guy around.

  34. Carl says:

    For God’s sake.. just cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jess’ love interest.

    • Mico says:

      I think that’s bound to happen, but not anytime soon = within this season. PS: I’m just really trying to keep my cool right now, but the truth is just the thought of it gives me butterflies all over my stomach!

  35. kess says:

    i am going to start watching this show. it began last week in the UK so im only 1 episode behind. must catch up. ahhh dermot mulroney is a hunk – yes!! but agree with a few of the posters, her and JGL make an incredibly cute couple.

  36. Missy says:

    Hmmmm.. a conundrum.
    I LOVE Dermot Mulroney, but I think the New Girl is one of the worst shows on television. What To do, What To do.. .

  37. Sinclaire McEwigg says:


  38. Richie says:

    I think it’s great that all these different and talented actors are making guest appearances on the show. It would be nice to see the chemistry between Jess and Dermot Mulrony’s older carachter but I wouldn’t want them to hook up. Not all of the male guest stars should be potential “love interest” for Jess. It would be too predictable. :)

  39. Bridget says:

    Excited for this. I like Dermot Mulroney (mostly because he’s really handsome). {Swoon}

  40. Olivia says:

    Idon’t care who Jess has for a love interest. I love the show and think it’s the best comedy to come along since Big Bang. I like New Girl more!!!!

  41. erin says:

    Think I’d die happy if they just cast J.G.L as the love interest and rthey live happily ever after <3

  42. dagwood baloney says:


  43. dingus mulroney says:

    seriously, when is dermot mulroney just gonna GO AWAY? i’d like to punch whoever thought dumbass baloney could pull off jim rockford. ha! what a joke! no wonder it failed so miserably!

  44. OneilGeorge says:

    New Girl Exclusive: Dermot Mulroney Joins the Cast as ‘Big’ Love Interest For Jess read more m a k c a s h 4 . c o m

  45. Bre says:

    Dermot is like a fine wine… He only gets better with age!!

  46. 30andlovingit says:

    Loving New Girl with Dermot Mulroney. 20 yrs older than me but I’d take him on anytime. He’s still soooo hot; a total ‘panty-melter’! More…please!!!

  47. WhosThatGirl says:

    Ok, so when Russell (Dermot Mulroney) almost kisses Jess, my stomach flipped – he is soooo-oooooh hot. It works.

  48. MoiraMcL says:

    Go Dermot! Comedy is your thing…since The Meow Show….

  49. mary escobar says:

    Saw repeats recently. Loooovvvvveeee it. Dermot’s character reminded me almost an older version of “Christian Grey”.

  50. Grampaoldguy says:

    It’s totally normal for a 30 year old woman to date a 40+ guy. It happens all the time, and honestly what woman wants to date a broke hipster dude who needs his GF to buy him a beer every night, plays a guitar badly, never travels and doesn’t read books without pictures? Happens all the time kids.