Max Greenfield on Schmidt’s hutch, ‘Succession,’ and why his daughter isn’t allowed on TikTok

Max Greenfield’s first words to me are veiled under a thin layer of playful sarcasm: “Looks like you’ve got some cool pens back there.” Indeed, yes; we’re chatting on Zoom, and on the wall behind me are dozens of pens and crayons, arranged in cups by color. The setup is a little on the nose, given that we’re here to talk about the actor-author’s collaboration with stationery giant Paper Mate.

Greenfield is probably best known for playing the delightfully neurotic Schmidt on Fox’s new girl, or the good humored Dave Johnson on CBS’s The neighbourhood, which is now in its fifth season. But at the start of the pandemic, Greenfield became a favorite of the homeschooling set when he posted videos of himself struggling through daily school lessons with his excited daughter, Lily. He ended up writing two children’s books based on this experience: I don’t want to read this book i This book is not a gift — and teaming up with Paper Mate(opens in a new tab) to donate $20,000 to Accelerated Charter Elementary School in Los Angeles as part of its Teacher Appreciation Week celebration.


A shout out to ‘New Girl’, the ultimate comfort watch for quarantine

She spoke to Mashable about the partnership, her kids’ TikTok habits and, of course, Schmidt. This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Mashable: I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot since it’s a career-defining role, but I’m a huge fan of Nick Pepper.

Max Greenfield: [Laughs] Oh wow, thanks!

I’m kidding, but I really loved it ugly betty. As I grew up, new girl it became my show because, whether they say it outright or not, Schmidt has OCD, and I have OCD. It was nice to see that reflected in a character.

My favorite episode we’ve ever done was episode six, I think, season 1. It was called “Control” and it was the one with the little house. I was like, “Oh, that’s easy to play.”

oh yeah It is very serious: garbage from the street does not enter the house.

It’s quite a thing.

It’s quite a thing! new girl he was talking about a teacher, and since then you have had to be a teacher at home with your daughter.

Well, what I actually discovered is that I am no a teacher I was forced to become one and I realized, “I’m not cut out for this,” and then I really appreciated teachers and what they do. What I was doing [as a parent] the pandemic was so new to everyone. No one knew what they were doing. The school just said, “Here’s a resume.” I wasn’t even online at the time, just emailing assignments. There were no classes or anything. Eventually they found out, but from March to June no one knew what they were doing. And why would they?

[My daughter and I] they were doing them [Instagram] videos during this time, and many teachers contacted us to express how grateful they were for the videos. They felt like, “Oh my God, this reminds me of my students, this reminds me of my class! I miss him so much. It’s killing us that we’re not there.” And being there at the time with a student (sometimes two when a friend of Lily’s FaceTimed to do homework together), I was like, “Are you missing this!?”

Fifteen of these kids in one room?

I mean, 15 o’clock minimum. And you realize they do [miss it] and that really good teachers love what they do.

Is there a teacher you had or a lesson you learned in school that really stands out in your memory?

I wish I had been smart enough to listen to any of them.

I saw a TikTok(opens in a new tab) where you were asked about your GPA and you said it started with a “zero point”.

By the way, I wish it was this good.

It’s okay, you have other talents. Your daughter has an incredible sense of self. What is it about her that makes you most proud to be her father?

Every day there are different things. She started a new high school this year, so the journey through that has been really exciting and scary and ultimately rewarding. She’s involved in all these different things. [At] at one point we said, “You… I like cheerleader?” She’s like, “I don’t really care.” And I’m like, “Well, can’t you? Because you’re doing too much.” And she said [imitates daughter shrugging apathetically], “OK!” Her ability to do so many things and be a part of everything that is happening at her school, I love it, love this It’s a lot of driving for dad though.

You made videos with her(opens in a new tab) on your TikTok account, but they said he doesn’t have permission to have his. At what age can you open one?

I think when I’m 36 I can have one. She knows there are a couple of rules we’re not bending to now, and this is one of them. she asks [to open an account] from time to time, and she has tried to access TikTok on my phone, so I deleted it. But she can go back! So now he is not allowed to have my phone. He’s hacking everything.


TikTok implements a time limit for teen users

what about your son

Not a big TikTok guy. However, he really likes YouTube. He likes to watch people play video games. Everyone loves MrBeast. It is true to the idea that MrBeast is rich. We try to explain it to him like, “Well, you know, he’s coming back,” and he says, “No, no, no, he’s so rich, father.”

Has he asked you to order him a MrBeast burger yet?

There’s been a couple of mentions of merch, but… I’m not interested. I wish I could talk about it more articulately, but I’m not very well versed in MrBeast.

Did you know that over 89,000 videos have been made on TikTok of the audio snippet of Schmidt saying, “I’d rather sit naked on a hot grill than wear something off the rack.”

I heard that! I’m surprised it was this of all dates.

There are certain Schmidt phrases like this that poke a special part of my brain with their musicality. Is there a date that will do it for you?

There are times when I’ll think a person said something in a funny way, where maybe 95 percent of the people in the world would say it the way you think it would be said, right? There was a line Succession this week.

Oh my god, I looked…

what an episode Tom cracks a joke when Logan’s girlfriend [Kerry] he sees what had happened, and mentions that he feels like he just “hit a foul ball at Yankee Stadium.”(opens in a new tab) But as he said it, he bent it in another way. He said “a missing ball at Yankee Stadium.” And I said, “You… you don’t play baseball.” The pace of it was so funny. This whole show is amazing, but I love it so much. He’s so great in it. show .

It’s also perfect for the character, because he’s supposed to be so far up in the world that he doesn’t even understand everyone’s baseball.

No, that guy rode all his life. He assembled the crew. And so for him it is called “a missing ball”.

Ok, back to the teachers – you said you weren’t cut out to teach. What was the most difficult issue you had to work on with your child?

I discovered that the things you struggled with as a child you still struggle with as an adult. Science was a really hard thing for me, and now my daughter will bring home her science homework and I’ll be like, “I can’t even read this, let alone explain any of it to you.”

Yes. That’s what Google is for. I saw you caption a photo of your daughter on Instagram, saying she doesn’t like to read aloud.

I had one myself really it’s hard to read, and they still do sometimes. My two books, I don’t want to read this book i This book is not a gift, Try to find a different way to give a voice to a child who may not necessarily be comfortable with reading, but who doesn’t know how to advocate for themselves. It’s a real conversation starter. Reading is usually something kids think they just have to do, like breathing or eating, it’s supposed to come naturally, but that wasn’t my experience with it. So to be able to laugh at the idea that this is something we’re learning was really fun and exciting. And I think it takes some of the pressure off of him to be good.

I was totally hooked when Paper Mate asked me to be a part of this Teacher Appreciation Week campaign, visit an underserved school and donate a bunch of their products. I can see you probably have some behind you. [Laughs] Looks like a very nice collection of Flair pens.

Is this your favorite product?

great product It’s incredible.

Oh yeah, the Flair Pen?

They come in all different colors. It’s the best. Anyway, the books were inspired by my experience during the pandemic, but they’re really meant to be used in the classroom. And it’s really fun to watch the teachers read books not wanting to read books to children who are really embracing reading and learning to read.

I usually go to these schools and read the books out loud to a large group of kids. It’s really fun and interactive, and there are big words in the books and they get to shout them out. In I don’t want to read this book there’s this big word, “infinitesimal,” spread across two pages, and I’m always like, “What’s that word?” And they all try to guess it, and it’s amazing. Sometimes a child will approach.

In one of the classes, a second grader picked up the book and started reading it, and that was it not more in that place where I could read enough, where it happened and it was very funny to see. He was like right there. I stepped aside and his teacher sat with him at that time and they started reading the book together. And you say, “That’s the most rewarding part of writing these books.” You know, they were really meant to be in the teachers’ classroom and to see how the teachers have embraced them has been so, so satisfying. So [I look for] any way to give back and celebrate the teachers because they know how to use these things better than I do.

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Actor Max Greenfield has been acclaimed for his portrayal of Schmidt on the hit TV show “Succession”. No stranger to the limelight, he’s also the father of two children, and recently opened up about the challenges of parenting in the digital age. Greenfield was adamant about not allowing his daughter to join TikTok, citing the prevalence of cyberbullying among its young users. “It’s one of those things that I feel like she’s gonna have to miss out on,” he said.

The struggles of monitoring digital behavior extends to Greenfield’s youngest child. Recently, he took to Instagram to share a hilarious story of his daughter transforming a hutch meant for Schmidt into an imaginative hideout. “I had no idea what she was doing, and when I came down, she had transformed the hutch into some kind of impressive castle,” he said. Greenfield’s post gives a window into his modern-day parenting style, featuring firm boundaries, but also plenty of room for creativity.

At Ikaroa, we understand how crucial it is for modern parents to cultivate a safe and comfortable digital environment for their children. We believe that teaching our children how to use technology responsibly is essential in helping them understand the nuances of making positive connections online. With this in mind, we are delighted to hear of Greenfield’s commitment to caring for his children’s online activity and providing a space for them to explore their imaginations.


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