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September 25, 2012 at 06:54 PM EDT

What does a new season of New Girl bring? A new Schmidt. When the metrosensitive douche sensation who’s been sidelined sexually finally has his penis cast removed in the season 2 premiere (Fox, tonight, 8 p.m.), he rebrands himself with a bash at Nick’s bar (and has the displeasure of meeting Cece’s new boyfriend). “He’s felt he’s been held back by having this cast on his nether regions and this is his big coming out party,” says Max Greenfield, a.k.a. Schmidt. “He’s ready to take on the world again. He doesn’t feel like he’s got a crutch anymore so he feels like he needs to reintroduce his brand, and what better way to do that than to have a rebranding event?” The plan was for the episode to feature a slide show with Schmidt showing off a multitude of looks, but time constraints left that sequence on the cutting room floor. The good news is that it has found a home right here on You can see the highlights in the following photos, complete with commentary from Greenfield. “I had so much fun,” he says of the shoot. “It was a week before we started up the show again, and it was just confirmation to me after a hiatus, ‘Oh, we’re back.’ Just when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder, I’m now dressed up in a Jewish assassin costume as well as a Magic Mike outfit. I don’t know what’s happening but I guess we’re shooting the show again.”

“In the first episode, the theme of Schmidt’s party is ‘danger’, and he makes all these posters for the party. In one of them, I dress up like Willem Dafoe in Platoon — that shot of him with his arms out. They put one of those little cargo vests in wardrobe and [New Girl costumer] Megan Wiser was so smart — she saw it and realized that it was identical to the Magic Mike look, and put an entirely separate Magic Mike outfit in the wardrobe trailer. And I was like, ‘Please god, can we do this one first because it’s the only one I want to do?’ I have this weird thing with that Magic Mike movie. I haven’t seen it, but they must have had so much fun shooting that movie, I can’t even imagine. Like, I’m kind of jealous and really wanted to be in it…. I feel like I’m so far away from Channing Tatum and I don’t know him as a person, he’s an extremely good-looking, in-really-good-shape guy, and I am not that from where I stand. So putting on that outfit and trying to fall into that character was great fun for me.”

NEXT PAGE: Hold me closer, tiny dancer.

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Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.
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