Zooey Deschanel Explained The Iconic 'Elf' Shower Scene & I Get It Now
"It's weird he's in there, but you totally buy that his intentions are pure and innocent."
It was the breakout Christmas hit of 2003, thanks in no small part to the sweet chemistry between the two main stars. Especially when they performed what has now become a beloved duet... accidentally. While one of them was in the shower. Now that Zooey Deschanel explained that iconic Elf shower scene where she and Will Ferrell sang together, I totally get it. I mean, I already loved the classic movie moment, but getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how it came about just adds to the charm.
You remember the premise of Jon Favreau's Christmas classic Elf, I'm sure; Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) grew up in the North Pole believing he was just another one of Santa's elves being raised by Papa Elf (played by Bob Newhart). When he discovers he is actually a human raised by elves, he heads off in search of his dad in New York City and lands a job working at Gimbles Toy Story. This is where he meets Jovie, played by Deschanel, a jaded young woman who does not share Buddy's enthusiasm for the holidays and public singing.
But she doesn't mind singing in the shower, as Buddy discovers one morning when he hears a beautiful voice coming from the ladies' washroom. She's singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and Buddy joins in despite the fact that he's not supposed to be in there with her. Hilarity ensues.
Zooey Deschanel duets with Will Ferrell in 'Elf.'
Deschanel recently told Entertainment Weekly that the shower scene, one of the most iconic from the film, wasn't in the original script. It was added after director Favreau discovered she was a singer, "I remember Jon Favreau telling me that they were catering it to whoever played the part. One actress they were looking at was good at skateboarding. But I had a cabaret act at the time and I was performing a lot. They knew that I was a singer, so they put that in to be my special thing that he could discover I was good at."
The scene works despite the controversial quality of the song and the fact that Ferrell has just breezed into a ladies' locker room simply because of the innocence of Buddy the Elf, as Deschanel told EW. "It's funny because obviously everyone knows it's not appropriate to walk in the girls' bathroom when someone's showering, but he's so believable as this guileless elf. It's weird he's in there, but you totally buy that his intentions are pure and innocent."
Deschanel went on to record a few different versions of the song, including a duet with Leon Redbone for the Elf soundtrack and another as part of the band She and Him.
The song doesn't necessarily hold up for everyone, due to its problematic issues with consent, but that shower scene? Weirdly sweet and funny every time.