Deschanel co-starred in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical Almost Famous (2000) where she played Anita Miller, the protagonist's rebellious older sister.
The film received critical praise, Deschanel's subsequent film credits include Manic (2001), with Don Cheadle and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Big Trouble (2002), with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, Abandon (2002) alongside Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt and Melanie Lynskey, and The Good Girl (2002) alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal.
In 1999, she made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her role as Anita Miller in Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous.
Deschanel soon became known for her deadpan comedy roles in films such as The Good Girl (2002), The New Guy (2002), Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Yes Man (2008), and (500) Days of Summer (2009).
Since 2011, she has played Jessica Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which she has received an Emmy Award nomination and three Golden Globe Award nominations.
USA Today described her performance as "Given a role tailored to launch her from respected indie actor to certified TV star, Deschanel soars, combining well-honed skills with a natural charm." In 2006, Deschanel teamed up with M.
Ward to release their debut album Volume One, under the name She & Him which was released in March 2008.
Their follow-up album Volume Two was released in the U. in March 2010, with their Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas being released in 2011, Volume 3 in 2013, and Classics in 2014.She also received Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media nomination for her song "So Long" which featured in Winnie the Pooh soundtrack.Deschanel is also a co-founder of the female-focused website Hello Giggles, which was acquired by Time, Inc. She is the younger daughter of cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir).Her paternal grandfather was French, from Oullins, Rhône; her roots also includes Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and other French ancestry.Deschanel lived in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood traveling because her father shot films on location; she later said that she "hated all the traveling ...I'm really happy now that I had the experience, but at the time I was just so miserable to have to leave my friends in Los Angeles and go to places where they didn't have any food I liked or things I was used to." Deschanel had a guest appearance on the television series Veronica's Closet before making her film debut in Lawrence Kasdan's 1999 comedy Mumford, and later in the year she appeared (non-singing) in the music video for The Offspring's single "She's Got Issues".