Jessica Day’s latest love interest is a real prince.
Julian Morris — AKA Once Upon a Time‘s Prince Phillip — kicks off an arc as an easy-on-the-eyes teacher named Ryan in this week’s New Girl. And it’s a good thing that Ryan’s subject is science, because he and Vice Principal Day have quite a bit of chemistry.
“He instantly has this attraction toward Jess,” Morris says. “And Jess, as much as she tries to suppress it, begins to fall for him. However, the problem is that she’s now vice principal, and he’s a lowly science teacher, and he can’t do anything about it.”
Cue some very uncomfortable moments between the pair, but Morris previews that there’s hope for the awkward educators.
“I can reveal that in future episodes, it gets much, much harder for her to suppress, until she finally just doesn’t,” he adds, laughing.
Read on to find out what other details the Pretty Little Liars alum is willing to spill, and make sure to scroll down for an exclusive sneak peek at Tuesday’s New Girl (Fox, 9/8c).
TVLINE | You mentioned that your favorite scene was cut. What was it?
It was a volcano scene. It’s Jess and I teaching together — it was actually my audition scene. We have to make a volcano explode. Of course, it doesn’t work, and then we end up together, and it’s just a metaphor for us having sex. [Laughs] It was so much fun to shoot. It was such a good time.
TVLINE | There were photos of that scene circulating.
I think it may be in a subsequent episode. It’s a short show, and a lot of material is shot.
TVLINE | Ryan has a very interesting last name, Geauxinue. Were you aware of that when you auditioned?
[Laughs] I was. It wasn’t in my audition scenes, but I looked at the name and I was like, “Is he French?” And then of course it hit me. “I see where this is going.” It’s silly. I love the jokes… That scene was so much fun to film, because we kept cracking up. [Editor’s note: It’ll all make sense once you watch the clip below — then scroll down for the rest of the interview.]
TVLINE | Was it hard not to laugh when Ryan, essentially, has to be the straight man?
This is a new thing, because this is my first comedy. When I got to set, I said, “How does this work? What if I can’t help but laugh? Am I allowed to laugh?” You’re encouraged to have fun. If you’re having fun and you’re finding things funny, the audience is going to have fun and find things funny. There have been plenty of moments where I’ve totally burst out laughing, but if I am, then people who are watching it on telly are probably going to find it funny.
TVLINE | Were you at all intimidated by your first comedy role? It’s a much different animal than drama.
It’s a completely different animal… You go in in the morning and you have your lines learned… but then they have these things called “alt-lines,” so you’ll shoot the scene as written but then they’ll bring out the alt pages, which you’ll literally get the morning of. And they’re hilarious. They’re all funny alternatives to the lines you’ve learned. But you’ve got to be on your feet, because you’ve got to learn them within minutes and then say them and try to make them work. But the looseness is really fresh.
TVLINE | Ryan and Coach share a scene or two in this episode. Will he eventually interact with the other roommates?
In my third episode, I will. In the episode we just shot — we wrapped at 1 this morning, my voice is a little bit croaky — I can reveal that Coach and I were swimming together. In fact, he was in my arms, fully clothed, in the pool. [laughs] It was an amazing moment. He’s one of the nicest guys, and hilarious.
This next episode, we end up at a teacher’s conference. It just so happens that we end up in rooms next to each other. And it just so happens that we raid the minibar and get drunk. And we have this teacher, this guru —
TVLINE | — the Lisa Bonet character.
Exactly. Lisa Bonet. She pushes us together in these intimacy exercises and trust exercises. Of course, it’s all completely sexy and sexual. Jess does everything she can not to fall under Ryan’s English charm.
TVLINE | Ryan is the biggest boyfriend contender she’s had since Nick. This is her first big step back.
He and Jess are quite similar and really matched very well together.