Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, New Girl

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Who's that girl? It's birthday girl, Zooey Deschanel!

Today, the Los Angeles native turns 39 years old and we are celebrating the only way we know how...by rounding up her best roles so far in her career.

We'd be lying if we said we won't also be playing a game of True American later this evening in honor of Deschanel's iconic TV character Jessica Day, but for now we're just focusing on the actress's successful career. 

She has been acting since 1998 and comes from an entertainment family with her big sister Emily Deschanel also in the industry, known best for her long-running crime drama Bones, so she's no stranger to big roles.

In honor of Deschanel's birthday, we're grabbing a slice of cake and our remote and re-watching all of the actress's best films and some of our favorite episodes of New Girl all day long. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Whether you've been a fan of the brunette beauty since she played the big sis and flight attendant in Almost Famous in 2000 or were addicted to the star on New Girl when she was totally adorkable, we can all agree that Deschanel is a killer actress.

Over the years we've become bigger and bigger fans of the star and now we're trying to decide which of her roles is our absolute favorite.

Could it be when she played Will Ferrell's love interest in Elf? Or what about when she played the hilarious Kit in Failure to Launch? She is just so versatile as an actress and we love her so.

Now it's your turn to cast your vote for which of Deschanel's roles below is your all-time favorite.

Don't forget to wish the star a happy birthday today while you're at it, too!

Zooey Deschanel, Almost Famous

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

In 2000, Zooey Deschanel starred in one of her biggest films to date with Almost Famous. After her character Anita leaves home to travel the world, and eventually become a flight attendant, she leaves her little brother William (Patrick Fugit) with her records, which opens him up to the world of music. In turn he manages to get a gig while still in high school as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine following an up-and-coming band named Stillwater on tour. The film also stars Kate HudsonBilly CrudupFrances McDormand and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Zooey Deschanel, Elf

Michael Ginsberg/New Line Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

Deschanel won over hearts as Jovie, the Gimbels worker (she is an elf at Christmastime) who falls in love with Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) when he travels from the North Pole to New York to find his father. 

Zooey Deschanel, Failure to Launch

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

Every rom-com needs a hilarious and semi-cynical BFF and that's exactly what the Los Angeles native's character Kit is in Failure to Launch. While her roommate and best friend Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) is working on her latest project...to get Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) to move out of his parents' house, Kit is busy being crazy, sassy and trying to kill a mockingbird.

Zooey Deschanel, Bridge To Terabithia

Kristy Griffen/Walt Disney/Walden Media/Kobal/Shutterstock

Based on the best-selling novel, Bridge to Terabithia is a movie about two kids who create their own land called Terabithia that's full of monsters, trolls, kings and queens. Together the two kids escape school bullies, weird family dynamics and more as they bond over their newfound friendship and fantasy land. Deschanel plays Jess (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie's (AnnaSophia Robb) music teacher in the film. 

Zooey Deschanel, Yes Man

Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

After a lifetime of saying "no" has gotten him nowhere, Carl (Jim Carrey) takes a new approach to life...saying "yes" to everything. This leads to a promotion at work, a new girlfriend named Allison (Deschanel) and a lot of other positives in his world. The downside: not all opportunities should be taken and sometimes better isn't always good.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

(500) Days of Summer isn't your typical rom-com, but it is one that you'll never forget. The film tells the tale of a woman named Summer (Deschanel) who doesn't believe true love exists and a guy named Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls in love with her. The offbeat rom-com shows you what it was like to fall in love, open up and ultimately be wrecked by Summer.

Zooey Deschanel, Our Idiot Brother

Big Beach Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

After getting out of jail for getting caught with marijuana, happy go-lucky Ned (Paul Rudd) finds himself living with his sisters, who don't exactly see the world through rose-colored glasses like he does. Deschanel plays Natalie, Ned's sister who is a bit on the slutty side, but eventually realizes that she can be more than that after her brother's sunny outlook and idiot actions makes her see her actions in a different light.

New Girl

Fox

Beginning in 2011 and ending in 2018, Deschanel played the quirky and totally lovable Jessica Day on New Girl. Throughout its seven seasons, Jess found herself, made lifelong friends and fell in love all while living in an apartment loft with three single men (to start) in Los Angeles.

Rock the Kasbah, Zooey Deschanel

Open Road Films

In 2015, Deschanel reunited with Hudson in Rock the Kasbah also starring Bill Murray. In the film Murray is a down-on-his-luck music manager who after taking Ronnie (Deschanel) to Afghanistan for a so-called tour finds a girl with an amazing voice and manages to get her to compete on the TV show, Afghan Star.

Zooey Deschanel's Best Role Poll
Which of Zooey Deschanel's roles is your favorite?
2.7%
14.7%
7.4%
0.0%
4.3%
17.1%
0.7%
53.2%
0.0%
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.