The cast of “New Girl” reunited — most of them, at least — in a virtual Q&A for the Vulture Festival’s virtual “In the Nest” 2020 edition.
While star Zooey Deschanel wasn’t on hand, series creator Liz Meriwether was joined by Max Greenfield (Schmidt), Jake Johnson (Nick), Damon Wayans Jr. (Coach) and Lamorne Morris (Winston).
One of the details that emerged in the conversation had to do with guest star Dennis Farina, who played Nick’s gruff father. According to the cast, the “Get Shorty” star — who passed away in 2013 — did not like Greenfield, not even a little.
“My favourite part of Farina was how much he hated Max. He hated him in like a not funny way. In like a scary, mean, old Chicago guy way,” said Johnson, revealing the veteran actor — who was once a Chicago cop — was particularly unamused by Greenfield goofing around on the set.
“That old boy was not having that,” said Johnson. “He almost beat the crap out of Max.”
Greenfield confirmed that: “I’m such a fan and I’m so upset the way it turned that it did.”
As Greenfield explained, “Everything was going fine” between him and Farina at first, with Farina sharing some stories of his years as a detective on the Chicago PD.
When Farina was away from the set, Greenfield and Johnson began chatting about whether Farina had ever witnessed any “weird sex stuff” when he was a cop. Despite Greenfield’s warnings not to bring that up, Johnson ignored that advice.
“Jake goes, ‘Hey Dennis, question… you’re doing surveillance, ever see just random people doing weird sex stuff?'” Greenfield recalled. “Immediately, you could see how deeply offended he was by this question and how truly f**ked we were.”
Added Greenfield: “Jake’s instinct in that moment was to go, ‘Because Max wanted to know!'”
After “Jake sold me out so hard,” Greenfield said the rest of his scenes with Farina were terrifying.
“We did the scene and he comes in and he looked into my eyes with a line that was not supposed to be intense or menacing at all, delivered it directly to me, full eye contact, as if ‘I’m gonna f**king kill you,'” recalled Greenfield. “Truly one of the scariest moments of my life.”