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Zooey Deschanel Gets Direct: How Was Her First Time Calling the Shots Behind the Camera on New Girl?

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Who’s that girl behind the camera? It’s Zooey!

New Girl returns for season 6 with an episode helmed by leading lady Zooey Deschanel, and the actress caught up with PEOPLE to discuss the unusual challenge of directing herself during her first sit-down in the director’s chair.

“It was really great,” Deschanel tells PEOPLE. “It was a great experience and really fun for me.”

Still, the actress admits that negotiating acting and calling the shots could at times be “difficult. I didn’t want to take too much time to be watching playback because it takes a lot of time, and I wanted to make sure I was really focusing on the other actors. Luckily, we have a directing producer and I kind of let him be a barometer for me.”

The first episode sees a post-wedding Cece (Hannah Simone) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) looking to buy a house while Jess deals with her lingering feelings for Nick (Jake Johnson) after he moves to New Orleans to be with former loftmate Regan (Megan Fox) – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“We’ve got a lot of good episodes coming up,” teases Deschanel, 36. “There’s some fun stuff, there’s a camping episode, there’s a crossover episode with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

The new season of New Girl premieres Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox.