Zooey Deschanel's Marriage Secret? Spend Time Apart!

The singer-actress dishes to iVillage about married life with rocker Ben Gibbard and her soft spot for Winnie the Pooh

Distance often drives couples apart. But actress Zooey Deschanel says spending time away from her husband, rocker Ben Gibbard, is actually part of what makes their relationship work -- which is a good thing, considering Gibbard is often on tour with his band, Death Cab for Cutie.

"I’m a pretty busy person, so it allows us to get our work done," Deschanel, 31, explains to iVillage. "And when we see each other again, we have a lot of stuff to talk about."

So what's keeping the 500 Days of Summer star so busy? Well, she's starring in her own TV series New Girl (which premieres on Fox in the fall), singing with her band She & Him and gearing up to become an aunt (her sister, Bones star Emily Deschanel, is expecting her first child) -- not to mention battling pesky writers in the blogosphere! Plus, the quirky brunette recently lent her vocal chops to the soundtrack for the upcoming Winnie the Pooh movie, which hits theaters July 15. (Click here for a review of the film.)

iVillage caught up with the multitasking star to chat about the most surprising thing about married life, giving sister Emily unsolicited pregnancy advice and her love for Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger, too!).

Why did you want to do the songs for the Winnie the Pooh movie?
I mean, it’s kind of like a no-brainer, really. I love Winnie the Pooh, and the Disney tradition of music is really incredible. I feel like it’s such a huge part of so many people’s childhoods.

Where did you get the inspiration for the song you wrote?
I watched the film, and what I really took away from it was that it was about friendship. I just liked the way that all the different characters have their own flaws and they all help each other out.

Which character do you relate to the most?
I really liked Tigger growing up, and I had the record of the old Winnie the Pooh stuff when I was little, "The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers" and all that. I love them all for different reasons. But I had never paid attention to Owl before, and Owl (voiced by Craig Ferguson) is so good in the movie.

Do you think that you’ll have your own kids someday to share Winnie the Pooh with?
Not soon, but hopefully one day.

Your sister, actress Emily Deschanel, announced her pregnancy in March. Are you excited to be an aunt?
I’m so excited. I can’t wait. I don’t have any advice to help her, but I’m kind of really good at shopping so I’ve been helping her (buy maternity clothes). She has a little baby in there so she’s got to duck around it. I’ve been pointing her in different directions. I don’t think she’s necessarily asking my advice, but I’m giving her my advice.

Your husband is often away on tour. Is it hard to be apart?
It’s definitely hard, but he’s really good at calling. He’s probably better than I am. He’s a very conscientious person. It’s definitely hard because you get used to someone being around and all of a sudden they’re not around and you’re like, "What happened?"

Has anything surprised you about married life?
Probably the most surprising thing is that it’s not really that different. You still have to make a commitment and think about that commitment every day. It’s not like you get married and then all the work is done for you. You get married and you’re still in a relationship and you’re still doing your best to make it the best relationship you can.

You still have to work at it, right?
Yeah, but it’s not work in a bad way. It’s just that you can’t expect to make no effort. You still have to make the effort and be kind and understanding. It sort of just solidifies your commitment.

You have your own TV show, New Girl, premiering this fall. How has that experience been so far?
Great. We haven’t started shooting yet -- we shot the pilot -- but we’ll start in August. It’s been amazing. I really just love everybody and feel really lucky.

Is there more pressure since you’re leading the series?
It’s funny when people ask about pressure. I put pressure on myself for everything I do. Pressure has everything to do with myself and not that much to do with other people. I kind of expect a lot of myself, no matter what I’m doing.

Ali Gray is iVillage's Senior Associate Entertainment Editor. Follow her on Twitter: @thealigray

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