As bartender Nick Miller on the Fox sitcom New Girl, Jake Johnson has been enjoying powerful chemistry with the character of Schmidt who is played by Max Greenfield.
While Nick has a flirtation Zooey Deschanel’s Jess, the Nick and Schmidt relationship is turning out to be the heart of the popular show now in its second season.
‘It’s definitely a bromance, but it didn’t start out that way,’ Johnson tells The Advocate. ‘In the beginning, Nick hated everything that came out of Schmidt’s mouth, but now he enjoys Schmidt a lot more. Yeah, something’s going to happen with those two. With all their Godfather ‘Fredo kisses,’ Nick and Schmidt have already kissed way more than Nick and Jess. There’s a lot going on with those two buddies, and it’ll be fun as the writers keep exploring their relationship.’
The role has won him many gay fans.
‘Sometimes I’ll get a tweet, like, ‘You are the perfect man for me.’ I’ll think, Oh, who’s this lovely lady? And it’ll be an older African-American gentleman,’ he says. ‘Gay fans can be very critical, so that support means a lot to me, because it means I’m doing something right.’
Johnson, who is straight and married, made his first and closest gay friend when he was studying abroad in Dublin.
‘He was my roommate, and he introduced me to gay culture,’ he recalls. ‘I remember I was just getting out of the shower when we met. He was clearly disgusted by the sight of me in a towel, so he left the room in a hissy and he went around telling the girls in the program, ‘Ugh, my roommate’s a goddamn bear!’ But we became great friends.’
‘One night we were being really loud, doing bits, and the Dublin police were called on us for a potential domestic abuse complaint,’ Johnson shares. ‘I opened the door wearing a wife beater, and my roommate’s sprawled out in the background, all flushed and sweaty after cooking my dinner. Those cops did not know what to make of it. [Laughs] All jokes aside, I don’t see anything different between someone who’s gay and someone who’s not. Who you have sex with does not matter to me. My mom raised me to know that race, religion, and sexuality don’t matter; if you like someone, they’re your friend. My personal code has always been that if someone makes me laugh, they’re OK by me.’