Lamorne Morris is the only black cast member on Fox’s New Girl. Unlike most television shows and movies, Lamorne’s race is a non-issue on the show. Winston did play basketball overseas, but the stereotypes end there. Lamorne, originally from Chicago, has some similarities to his character. They’re both “safe,” and they’re both pretty funny. Lamorne credits New Girl’s writers for giving him a modern, well-rounded character.
POTP: People like the guys [on New Girl] so much and they’re always saying ‘I wanna see more of the guys!’
Lamorne: It’s an ensemble and we’re very grateful to have such good chemistry together.
POTP: Me being black and you being black [laughs], in case you didn’t know...
Lamorne: I noticed [laughs].
POTP: Your character is not exactly ghetto. Before you got the role, were you like your character or were you more hood?
Lamorne: I’m from the Southside of Chicago, born and raised, but when I was 14, 15, I moved to the Western suburbs of Chicago where we were one of the only black families there. My mom was very adamant about education, and so I kind of grew up in a hybrid situation where I have my roots. I was ghetto growing up and very hood growing up, but when you’re around different cultures, you actually develop as a person. You evolve beyond what you’re from. You evolve beyond the odds. That’s how I am. People used to always say ‘You’re a very safe black dude!’ But I used to find that offensive, but now I’m kind of like ‘Ok, great! We’re all safe.’
POTP: You kind of seem a little bit like your character. I like that. I don’t recall your character saying ‘I’M BLACK AND I CAN’T GET A JOB BECAUSE I’M BLAAAAACK! THE COPS PULLED ME OVER TODAY!’
Lamorne: [Throws head back and laughs] Right!
POTP: I find that so refreshing about the show.
Lamorne: I think it is. Our writers are multi-cultural. Everyone’s smart. It’s a new day, a new generation. We’re above that. It’s silly to make silly and dumb stereotypes.
POTP: Does that come up in any future episodes?
Lamorne: Not at all. There are certain elements of the show that I do reference the fact that I’m black.
POTP: It’s subtle. They’re not beating you over the head with it.
Lamorne: On the Thanksgiving episode, Nick says we’re gonna sit around watching football and then we’re going to go to Best Buy for Black Friday, and I say, ‘As I like to call it, Friday!’ You know, small stuff like that, or I take him to a black barber shop. At the end of that episode, you see him at a black barber shop with all these old school black dudes. Small stuff that’s funny. If we do reference race, it’s funny. Like, we have Jewish references where it’s funny that we need to address sometimes. We have to stop being so sensitive.
If you’d like to catch up on our one-on-one with Morris, check out Poponthepop.com’s exclusive interview with Lamorne Morris Part 1. New Girl airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on Fox.