Zooey Claire Deschanel is an American actress, model and singer-songwriter. She made her film debut in Mumford , followed by a supporting role in Cameron Crowe's film Almost Famous . Deschanel became known for her deadpan comedy roles in the films The Good Girl , The New Guy , Elf , The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Failure to Launch , Yes Man , and Days of Summer . She also did dramatic turns in the films Manic , All the Real Girls , Winter Passing and Bridge to Terabithia . Since 2011, she has played Jessica Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which she has received an Emmy Award nomination and three Golden Globe Award nominations.