Julian Morris, Once Upon a Time‘s Prince
Charming Phillip, made his entrance on Tuesday’s New Girl. And Charming it was indeed.
As Ryan Geauxinue (cheekily pronounced Goes-in-you), the “distractingly handsome” Brit science teacher brought in to replace a newly promoted Jess (Zooey Deschanel), he will test Jess’s professionalism as a Vice Principal—not to mention her resolve as a woman with functioning eyes and ears—as the colleagues grow closer over the next several episodes.
Which isn’t to say Jess and Ryan got off to a smooth smart. Sure, there was a brief, work-inappropriate shoulder rub in Morris’s first episode, “Landline”… but that was followed by Jess repeatedly, albeit unintentionally, smacking Ryan in the crotch. “I didn’t wear a cup,” Morris laughs. “[Because] of the angle we filmed that, Zooey could sort of sweep her hand back, and it would look as if there was contact, which there wasn’t—except for on one occasion. It stung just a little.”
Tuesday’s episode wrapped with Ryan getting thisclose to asking Jess on a date, only to be interrupted when Principal Foster (Curtis Armstrong) delivered marching orders that Jess is verboten from fraternizing with her employees. Still, Morris promises that, after New Girl takes a World Series hiatus for the rest of October, November will be a major month Ryan and Jess.
Namely, they’ll have their first kiss. “An attraction builds and builds” as Jess learns about Ryan’s past as a Wall Street banker and what inspired him to teach, says Morris. Finally on Nov. 18’s “Teachers,” the coworkers are “forced to interact at a teacher’s conference. Lisa Bonet plays this wonderful character, this guru who’s all about trust and intimacy exercises. [Jess and Ryan] are pushed closer and closer until they actually kiss in this episode, which is wonderful.”
Morris continues, “The episode’s about Jess’s attraction to Ryan. [She’s] trying to do everything that she can to suppress it because, professionally, she can’t have what she wants.” Ironically, it’s exactly Jess’s work that ignites the spark. And it doesn’t hurt that, according Morris, “At any good conference, there’s a lot of alcohol. We get drunk, I end up in my [bathrobe]. We’re chatting and bonding, and we end up kissing.”
As for how he ends up nearly naked in that bathrobe… Morris teases that “a moment of heroism” for Ryan meant he was filming “in a swimming pool, at 1 a.m. [on Thursday night] fully clothed, arm-in-arm with Damon [Wayans Jr.].” Nice work if you can get it.
Filming is currently underway on New Girl‘s Thanksgiving installment, which Morris teases involves an airport—either the most or least romantic place Jess can find herself with a new beau. Past that, Fox confirms Morris is slated to continue filming beyond the Thanksgiving episode, and the actor says his schedule is open until he starts work on the Amazon series Hand of God in February 2015.
Now that Jess has made it past a cruise-ship break-up, a failed wedding hook-up, and a micro-penised cheater, could she be on track to finding The One? We’ll begin finding out when New Girl returns to Fox on Nov. 4.