Zooey Deschanel is turning 34 years old today–that being January 17, 2013–and you’d think that’d be a problem for a hipster icon. They’re not really supposed to age. Zooey, however, is looking perpetually cute as the star of the charming sitcom New Girl. She’s also really fun as part of the musical group She & Him. But, you know, we also think it’s time to look back and also remember that Zooey has a serious side that includes being seriously sexy.
She’s part of a FOX network acting dynasty with sister Emily (who stars in Bones), but Zooey landed there after a lot of splashy big-screen roles. She made her debut in the underseen Mumford back in 1999, and then joined Kate Hudson as one of the breakout stars in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. Zooey became a proper leading lady in 2006’s Elf, where she actually seemed restrained playing against Will Ferrell. That was right after she’d won over the critics in the indie All The Real Girls as a gal enjoying a sexual awakening.
Audiences were really awake to Zooey after that. She had some mainstream success with supporting roles in rom-coms like Failure to Launch, but Zooey also stayed cultish with fun appearances on shows like Weeds and small films like Flakes. Then she scored a major hit in 2009 with (500) Days of Summer. Zooey was probably pretty smart to know that studio executives wouldn’t know what to do with her, though, and New Girl has given her a home while her musical act She & Him keeps her on the road.
And did we mention all the hot photo shoots during that burgeoning career? Yeah, there were a lot–and it’s definitely time to look back at a gal whose sex appeal sure goes beyond quirky and cultish. Don’t let that get forgotten on Zooey’s big day, as we celebrate with a big gallery…