He proved his charm at the recent Los Angeles Film Fest premiere of They Came Together, the rom-com spoof starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd — Greenfield plays Rudd's younger brother in the flick. Ever the humorist, he riffed about what it's like to have an on-screen fight with one of his comedy idols and divulged the buddy comedy he's been dreaming up for himself and New Girl's Lamorne Morris, a.k.a. Winston. If you use your imagination, it's like chatting with Schmidt himself.
First of all, did you notice that Weird Al is here?
"Yes, yes I did. Although, are we supposed to call him 'Weird?' I feel uncomfortable… What if you said, 'Hey, Weird Al,' and he was like, 'It's just Al.'"
Maybe Mr. Yankovic is better. Can you tell us about your part in this movie?
"I play Paul Rudd's brother — his earnest younger brother. We have kind of a tumultuous past, and I move into his apartment for a little while, and I'm pushing him to get together with Amy Poehler's character. It kind of culminates in the two of us having an epic fight that really airs out some of our past grievances."
So what is it like to fight with Paul Rudd?
"It was the greatest thing. I'll never work on a better scene in my entire life; I'm more proud of that scene than any scene I've ever worked on. It was after my first season of New Girl — everything was so new. And then all of a sudden I'm doing this movie with Paul Rudd where we have this four-page fight scene, and I'm thinking to myself, 'I don't know how this happened.' Having been such a fan of Paul and Amy's for so long, it just was crazy. Hanging out with the two of them, it made being a fan of them that much better."
Do you get starstruck?
"I don't get starstruck just seeing someone, but when you have to really get in there and do a scene with someone like Paul Rudd, you show up prepared. I was a little nervous to start out, but after the first rehearsal, I knew it was going to be good."
This movie is kind of an ode to rom-coms. Are you a fan of them yourself?
"I love rom-coms. What's so funny is that everyone involved in this film loves them. It genuinely is not anti-rom com — you're dealing with people who love them and use them as references when they're working on other films or doing scenes. But, you do see a lot of the themes and situations from those movies that I think this one plays on."
What is your all-time favorite rom-com?
"Oh my god, there are so many. You know, Annie Hall is definitely up there."
That's too good, though. You need an awesomely bad one.
"You know, Amy brought up a really good one at Sundance that I had totally forgotten about, yet it's one of the greatest. Valley Girl, do you remember that? With Nic Cage? It's as good as it gets."
So we have to ask about New Girl, too. What was the most memorable moment from season three for you?
"Well, working with Prince was definitely surreal. You kind of think to yourself, 'What in God's name is happening? How is this my life?' But, it also was three in the morning, so I have mixed feelings about that shoot day. He's like, 'I'll just show up at 10 [p.m.],' And I'm thinking, 'Man, can you show up during the day?' He was the best, though." What is your favorite Schmidt one-liner or catch phrase?
"I like 'street youths.' I also just like when he mispronounces words."
Like 'crack cocaine!' So good. Was that mispronunciation your idea?
"Yes. Well… I wanna say that it was Zach Galifinakis' idea, and I stole it from him. I feel like I steal a lot from him. But, that was something I added in, I just really like to mispronounce words."
So, since your New Girl costars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. have Let's Be Cops coming out this summer, are you and Lamorne going to do your own buddy comedy?
"Look, you can't put me in a cop movie. Jake and Damon called me and said, 'Hey, will you be in this movie? We need another person pretending to be a cop.' And then I said, 'Listen, that's not gonna work.' They were really pushing hard with the studio, and then collectively, they decided that no one would believe it if I were pretending to be a cop. They'd be like, 'He's too masculine and too much of a hunk, he must actually be a police officer.' It would just take away from the movie. In terms of doing a movie with Lamorne, I would love to, but I don't think it would be in the cop vein."
What kind of movie would you guys do?
"Have you seen a movie called Detroit Rock City? I think it would be something along those lines where the two of us are, like, trying to get to a Kiss concert. I'm trying to join the Kiss Army this year, that's my goal. I've been pitching that in press, and I'm waiting until somebody finally makes it happen."