After years co-starring on the popular sitcom New Girl former White Rock resident Hannah Simone has gone kicking and screaming into her latest project – hosting a new reality TV show on Fox.
The well-travelled 36-year-old, who now calls Los Angeles home, is the face of the new show, Kicking & Screaming, which premiered this month.
The series filmed last year in the remote jungles of Fiji, and, according to Fox, pits 10 teams of two – one expert survivalist, one “pampered partner’ – against one another in what a news release calls “the toughest challenges of their lives,” which include dangerous animals, raging rivers and extreme weather.
The winning team is awarded a cash prize of $500,000.
And Simone, who began her career as a teenage fashion model, is along for the ride as host – a noted departure from her previous roles, which most notably include playing CeCe, best friend to Zooey Deschanel’s character Jess on New Girl, in its sixth season on Fox.
Simone was born in London, England but spent much of her childhood in locales across the globe – she lived on three continents from ages 7-10, including stints in Calgary, New Delhi and Cyprus. At 17, she moved from New Delhi to White Rock, attending Semiahmoo Secondary before relocating to Vancouver. She has a degree from the University of B.C. and spent time working with refugees in England as a human-rights officer with the United Nations.
Her rise from the Semiahmoo Peninsula to La La Land began, in earnest, in Toronto, where she worked as a MuchMusic VJ.
Now entrenched in Hollywood, Simone’s recent credits include Band-Aid, which was featured at the Sundance Film Festival last month, and Why We’re Killing Gunther, a Taran Killam-directed film that stars Arnold Schwartzenegger and Colbie Smulders and was filmed last year in Cloverdale.
One might assume Simone’s travels and varied life experience would make her the perfect fit for a show such as Kicking & Screaming, though she certainly seems more comfortable in her role as host, rather than as a contestant. In a trailer for the series, Simone, after watching a particular challenge, is heard to quip, “I’m glad I’m just the host.”
Nevertheless, she’s excited about her new venture, telling pop-culture website Wetpaint.com last July that she is a “huge fan” of the adventure-show genre.
“The idea that I could get off my couch and step into the jungle with contestants… watching all the hilarity with my own two eyes was way too much for me to resist,” she said.
Kicking & Screaming airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.