"I drive a hybrid, a Prius. I try not to be wasteful. I'm not a major environmentalist, I'm not Ed Begley, Jr., but I think there are little things you can do," says Zooey Deschanel. "I think the things that we all do every day add up, like recycling, reusing." On the set of "New Girl," her new Fox sitcom, "they got everybody reusable water bottles, so everybody has their own bottle. Those things can make a big difference."

Deschanel, known for movies like "(500) Days of Summer" and "Our Idiot Brother" and her recording career with She & Him, was immediately drawn to the "New Girl" script and the role of Jess, who moves in with three guys after a breakup. "I don't know if I've ever seen a part that was as charming and exciting and made me think. This opportunity became really appealing to me because the material's so great. I have so much fun, and the thought of doing it for a long time is actually really exciting to me," she says. The quirkily lovable Jess, who "expresses all her emotions" and sings when she's nervous or uncomfortable, is right up her alley. "It's how she expresses herself. She sings in different styles depending on her mood and the moment."

The musical aspect is a natural fit for Deschanel. Married to a musician, Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard, she recorded the "New Girl" theme music and has a She & Him Christmas album due out later this year. She'll soon have a baby to serenade — her sister Emily, the star of "Bones," will give birth later this month. 

"New Girl" premieres Sept. 20 on Fox.

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