While “New Girl” star Hannah Simone shared a slew of commonalities with her loyal yet blunt character Cece, Simone is bringing a new side of adulthood that she’s learned since her time on the sitcom to her new series “Not Dead Yet.”
“‘New Girl’ set a very high bar — there was such great writing such a great cast [and] I got to bring so much of myself into that character,” Simone told TheWrap. “But a lot of time has passed as we started ‘New Girl’ till now … I could kind of pull on the things I’ve learned since ‘New Girl’ in life and help it inform the character.”
In “Not Dead Yet,” which premieres Feb. 8 on ABC, Simone assumes the role of Sam, who helps her best friend Nell (Gina Rodriguez) get back on track as Nell reckons with a recent break up on top of questioning her sanity when she begins seeing the subjects of her obituaries come to life.
Despite its sitcom format, the ABC series delves into stories of loss, grief and healing — topics Simone notes she could bring into the show from her own personal experience.
“These characters are at a different place in life and … some really tough things get dealt with,” Simone continued. “What I loved also about [writers] David (Windsor) and Casey (Johnson) was that you could bring those authentic things you struggled with in your life and put it into the character.”
Though Simone’s “Not Dead Yet” character Sam has several years and a good deal of maturity on Cece, that doesn’t mean Sam has it any more figured out than her younger counterpart.
“You realize as you grow up and you have to be mature, you really just are more of a mess,” Simone said, adding that each character has their own development arc in the series. “You get to see all of that and watch her grow … You really watch people reexamine their mistakes and their choices for living and those that have passed, and then watch them heal through it. And sometimes that healing is even messy.”
“Not Dead Yet” premieres Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Natalie Oganesyan contributed to this report.