Zooey Deschanel has finally revealed the name of her 3-month-old baby daughter to the world: Elsie Otter Pechenik.
Why Elsie Otter? Why not? That’s just the type of thing Zooey Deshcanel would do, USA Today says of the 35-year-old “adorkable” actress.
Of course, there’s a bit more to the story than that. You may recall that Zooey announced back in January that she was pregnant with beau Jacob Pechenik’s baby. Zooey, who in 2012 divorced Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard, and Jacob, a 42-year-old producer, secretly got married on June 21, according to E! Online.
A few weeks later, in July, Baby Elsie Otter was born.
Zooey’s pregnancy wasn’t compatible with her character, Jess Day’s, storylines on Fox’s New Girl, so producers made some changes. Zooey/Jess will miss at least a few episodes while Megan Fox takes Jess’ spot in her character’s apartment. Zooey explains, via Us Magazine, how it’s all going to work.
“Jess gets on a jury and she’s sequestered. And during that time the roommates rent out Jess’ room to Reagan, who is Megan Fox. So that will be super fun. I have a few episodes where I’ll be gone because of maternity leave. Megan is going to carry the torch!”
So now that it’s all clear, how on earth did Zooey and Jacob come up with the name Elise Otter for their baby? It’s simple: Zooey likes otters.
“Well, we just really like the name Elsie, and then we both love otters. They’re really sweet, they’re also smart, they use tools to keep their favorite tools, they hold hands while they sleep. There’s so many amazing things about otters. They’re wonderful animals.”
Giving a baby an unusual name is par for the course for Zooey. She’s made a career out of portraying herself — and some of her characters — as cute-but-dorky (or “adorkable” as some in the media like to call her). In fact, USA Today once suggested that Zooey’s equally dorky New Girl character, Jess, was written specifically so Zooey could play a caricature of herself.
“Given a role tailored to launch her from respected indie actor to certified TV star, Deschanel soars, combining well-honed skills with a natural charm.”
Despite being a wealthy Hollywood power couple, Zooey and Jacob seem to be enduring the same struggles as all new parents. Namely: sleep deprivation.
“Jacob might be more sleep-deprived but better able to function. I’m a better sleeper than Jacob, but I still am sleep deprived nonetheless.”
Baby Elsie is Zooey Deschanel’s first baby. It’s unclear, as of this post, whether or not her husband, Jacob, has any children from previous relationships.
Despite being a sleep-deprived new mom, Zooey managed to film and promote her latest movie, Rock the Kasbah. In it, Deschanel plays an aspiring musician who gets noticed by down-on-his-luck music manager Bill Murray. The two then embark on a USO tour of Afghanistan.
Zooey describes what it was like working with the legendary Bill Murray.
“I was so lucky to watch him work. He’s amazing and so much fun. He’s kind one of those actors that’s always fun to watch. He’s the king!”
Zooey Deschanel definitely has the pipes to carry off playing a musician. You may remember that her character, Jovie, sang in one of Zooey’s first major roles, 2003’s Elf.
As of this post, Zooey Deschanel has not publicly introduced Baby Elsie Otter to the cameras or on social media.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]