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New Girl’s Lamorne Morris on Winston’s Wild Schemes and Wanting Rihanna for a Love Interest

Lamorne Morris. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Compared to his New Girl roommates, Winston Bishop was a relative mystery up until the show’s second season. But now we know him for the weirdo he is: a guy who thinks he has a menstrual cycle and hatches outrageously bad schemes (“We could break into a zoo, steal a bear, then we shoot the bear full of hep. C, we release that bear in the restaurant right as they’re about to order dessert … ”). Are his roomies’ quirks rubbing off, or was Winston always this mad? We spoke to Lamorne Morris ahead of tonight’s finale about his character’s development, Jess and Schmidt’s hookup, and wanting Rihanna to play his love interest.

As season two wraps up, what theme do you think defined it?
For the show, it was Nick and Jess. It was a lot of the “will they, won’t they?” theme going on, in general, if you look at Cece and Schmidt or even me and Shelby, where we broke up and then I started dating Brenda Song’s character. For my story line, it’s just … Winston is crazy. [Laughs.] That was my “thing.” He’s nuts! He’s always got these traits that aren’t very subtle. He thinks he has his period, or he trips out when he drinks fruity drinks. He’s struggling to find a condom so he’s running desperately through the streets. It’s always something. Winston is crazy, and I think that’s okay.

In the finale, he ends up in an air duct while scheming with Schmidt to sabotage Cece’s wedding. What could go wrong?
Everything, because another story line with Winston this season is that he loves pranking people. The problem is he has no sweet spot, so he doesn’t know how to do it just right. It’s either way too soft or way too extreme. In this case, he goes way too extreme. Of course, the worst happens, and you’ll have to watch it and see.

It’s taken a while to figure out Winston’s personality. It seems like this season he blossomed a little.
Yeah, when you start off a show with five characters and you flesh them out for years and then you have to replace a character [Damon Wayans Jr. was originally cast on the show instead], it throws a monkey wrench into the program. You have to really flesh out this new character and make it so he fits the dynamic of the group. A lot of it worked, in the fact that my character was gone for a couple years, so it’s about him gradually growing an audience as well as his roommates. I think this year they really found a groove with him.

Were you ever confused about where Winston’s story line is headed?
Yeah. In TV, you’re always confused because you legitimately don’t know what you’re doing the next week. One week, Nick could be madly in love with Jess. The next one, he could be all over his bartender co-worker. The next, he could be trying to solve a murder. The next week, he could be back with Jess. So you never really have it down.

What’d you think of the way Nick and Jess finally hooked up?
The writers do a really good job of figuring things out and getting a feel for what the audience wants. I think they actually listened to Twitter and magazines, and they felt like it was the perfect time to do it. And it was cool. Jake Johnson [who plays Nick] said when it happened, that same night he gained, like, 20,000 Twitter followers going crazy about it. So it was good; it was perfect.

It’s funny because some shows prolong the hookup when there’s a question about it. This happened in the second season.
In my opinion, it means they have other stuff to focus on. I’m not even sure in the beginning, if that was the writers’ intention to make Nick and Jess … I guess in the table reads, they felt like: They have a good connection. Let’s start writing for that.

It could’ve been Jess and Schmidt …
Right, insane. [Laughs.]

How is Winston in relationships?
It’s weird because they write it sporadically. Sometimes, I’ll be with Daisy [played by Brenda Song]. And then she’s not around for a couple episodes. I think they’re trying to establish that I work so much, without necessarily showing me at work. So a lot of times it’s like: I have the sex window. She’s in town; my schedule’s freed up. I think he’s too busy for a real relationship ’cause he’s still trying to figure his career life out. I don’t know. I would like to see him in a relationship. Rihanna’s trying to act now. Let’s bring her on.

Rihanna as Rihanna, or would she play somebody?
She would play somebody. I wouldn’t want her to play Rihanna-Rihanna because Rihanna-Rihanna is probably a little wild for Winston. She would walk all over Winston.

Speaking of acting singers, Taylor Swift guests on the finale. Did you have any scenes with her?
I didn’t. That was the one day that I didn’t work. But I heard she killed it. I heard she’s really funny.

Her comedic timing is surprisingly on point.
She can do everything. I’d like to honestly start a relationship with her as well.

You’ve put out a few parody videos, like the Trinidad James spoof. How did those come about, and are you planning more?
That’s always something I’ve wanted to do: just shoot a bunch of randomness. The “Belizean James” thing happened when I saw the Trinidad James video [“All Gold Everything”] and thought: Oh my goodness. This is one of the most ridiculous-slash-awesome things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. So me and my buddies wrote it out and shot it. I’ve shot “24/7,” spoofing Floyd Mayweather, and “Black Rapunzel.” The goal is to keep stuff coming out. I want to stay proactive and keep having funny material online.

What’s one ridiculous thing in hip-hop right now that needs a parody?
People losing their endorsements. I think it’s hilarious that you would give an endorsement deal to someone who you’ve heard their lyrics a million times and you thought it was cool. And then they said something a little messed up and you take the endorsement deal away. Yeah, so the lyrics shouldn’t have been said, but what did you expect? Parodying that might be cool.

New Girl’s Lamorne Morris Wants Rihanna to Guest