Zooey Deschanel Is Still Defending Her 500 Days Of Summer Character Years Later

Zooey Deschanel in 500 days of Summer
(Image credit: Fox Searchlight)

500 Days of Summer gave audiences a different take on the rom-com genre. Instead of your usual meet-cute story that ends with eternal love, the movie actually ends with the two lead characters moving in different directions. Zooey Deschanel’s Summer Finn has received hate from fans because she rejected her romantic fling, Tom, and got married to someone else later on. With this, Deschanel continues to defend her 500 Days of Summer character over a decade later.

When you watch the full 500 Days of Summer trailer, you know right away that this is not a love story but a realistic depiction of two people’s relationship fading away. In an interview with The Guardian, Zooey Deschanel explained that she believes viewers have misinterpreted her character as a villain. On that note, she'd like people to take a deeper look at the film's doomed romance:

I got that take from day one. It’s a very emotional response. People want the characters to be together, but that not happening makes the movie interesting. She is upfront that she doesn’t want a relationship, but he ignores her. The most telling scene is when she tells him: ‘I’ve never told anybody that before,’ and he makes it about himself. He is fixated on external details – such as her liking the Smiths – that has nothing to do with who she is as a person. To anyone who thinks Summer is the villain, I say: think a little deeper.

Zooey Deschanel makes a good point about her character. Summer told Tom from the get-go that she preferred their relationship to be casual, and Tom acted as if he agreed. However, that proved to be easier said than done the more Tom began to fall for Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played the man, has said before that everyone needs to stop blaming Deschanel's Summer for rejecting his character. After all, Gordon-Levitt’s hot take on his character is that Tom ignored his partner's suggestion about keeping the relationship fun instead of getting serious. In his estimation, he should've backed out as soon as he realized they wanted different things. But then there'd be no good story, would there?

The New Girl star has been adamant about her own viewpoint. When 500 Days hit Hulu, she sent a message to the fans, reiterating that Summer is not the villain. Yes, it does sting that the character didn't end up with Tom. But still there were commitment warning signs that he could've looked out for.

Of course, the 42-year-old actress/singer has done other things since starring in the beloved rom-come, like voicing Bridget in Trolls World Tour. She's also expected to appear in the musical biopic Dreamin’ Wild, in which she’ll play the wife of musician Donnie Emerson. A role like this is bound to steer her away from the “pixie manic dream girl” archetype that she’s played on more than a few occasions. You can also see her in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Zooey Deschanel does still get nostalgic for 500 Days, though, as she even recreated a Summer scene with her boyfriend, Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott.

But if you still want to see for yourself why there's no reason to villainize Summer, I recommend streaming 500 Days of Summer using your Paramount Plus subscription and seeing Tom and Summer's relationship for what it is instead of what you might want it to be.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.