By Lanford Beard
January 29, 2013 at 07:00 PM EST
Patrick McElhenney/FOX

You might not be able to tell by the image above, but playing Strip True American isn’t all fun and games. If you ask Brooklyn Decker, that is. The supermodel-turned-star — who guest on a rambunctious new episode of New Girl tonight — admits that the show’s fan-favorite, history-themed drinking game turned perilous at times. “There were a few close calls” when she had to pile onto an unsteady ottoman with stars Jake Johnson (center) and Max Greenfield. But, she adds about the lawless game, “I feel like if you actually show blood or if you fall and get a bruise, you probably get more points in True American — so that might work to your advantage.”

Decker plays Holly, an object of the guys’ desire who gives new meaning the notion of tragedy porn. Long story short, she’s “this crazy person who’s attracted to sadness,” says Decker of her schadenflirty character. It was a prime opportunity for the improv-heavy set because “the guys on the show… would improv all these crazy, devastatingly sad stories that would get my character all turned on,” she laughs.

New Girl creator Liz Meriwether personally called Decker to offer her the part, explaining “She’s kind of a psycho, but I think you’d have a lot of fun playing her.” Decker, who played the ingenue in 2011’s Just Go With It and 2012’s Battleship, appreciated the twisted casting choice — though she admits she couldn’t pull from experience to portray Holly. “I have never even heard of this kind of person who gets aroused by somebody being heartbroken or upset — which is why this character’s so out-of-left-field for me, and why she was so much fun to play. It’s, like, “Who does this? Who actually wants to see somebody cry and then get turned on by it?” Only Holly!”

She had much more connection to the dilemma faced by Jess (Zooey Deschanel). Because of her knack for unintentionally shutting down her roommates’ romantic pursuits, Jess gave the episode its title (“Cooler”). Believe it or not, Decker says in real life, “I’m the cooler! I feel like I’m a good wingman, but I love awkward humor, so I’m usually making [jokes that] no one else finds funny. I probably need to work on fixing that,” she laughs, “because I think I’m getting in the way of a lot of my friends maybe getting’ a little somethin’, somethin’.”

In between takes, faithful New Girl Decker managed to score some intel about one inside joke that turned into a show standby. “If you watch the show, Jake and Max always say, ‘You are just the dumbest boy in the world,'” she says. “Apparently it’s some thing they picked up in one of the earlier episodes where they started calling each other ‘the dumbest boy in the world’ on set, off camera, and it eventually made its way into the script. If you watch back, it’s said at least one time in every episode.”

Decker pays a visit to the New Girl loft tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

Read more:

‘New Girl’: Oh Deer!

‘New Girl’: Nickels & Dimed

‘New Girl’: Imperfect Scores

Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.
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  • 09/20/11
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