Zooey Deschanel talks trembling at early auditions, sexism, and writing a letter to 'Vogue' at 17 -- VIDEO

This month, the MAKERS site, an initiative by PBS and AOL celebrating the pioneering contributions by women over the last 50 years with video interviews describing their own journeys, shines the spotlight on Women in Hollywood. On Sept. 12, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel joins the ranks of those profiled, and we’ve got a sneak peek at her interview now. Watch it below.

She shares the letter she wrote to Vogue about an article titled “America’s Beauty Ideal” when she was 17: “I don’t think any woman should have to feel as if she needs to shove herself into an ‘ideal’ to be beautiful. Beauty should be something that is celebrated and something that is enjoyable, not something that people should feel uncomfortable about achieving… ” She speaks about sexism: “It’s sexist to think that somebody can’t act in a girly way or speak the way I want to speak or to assume that I’m not a strong and intelligent woman because of my appearance.” And she talks about what drew her to New Girl, which returns for its third season Sept. 17: “It was so refreshing to get to do a role that is sorta the clown. That was something that I could always do but never had the chance to do because, you know, you’re playing someone’s girlfriend or friend who’s shaking their finger and normal.”

She also opens up about her entry into acting — driving herself to auditions after school when she first got her license and shaking because she was so terrified.

MAKERS has profiled more than 200 women, from Supreme Court Justices and CEOs to athletes, activists, and other entertainers.

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