So, he was Jess? ("New Girl," now in its third season, stars Deschanel as a woman who shares a loft apartment with three men.)
"I was Jess. I really was," said the Chicago-born actor and Second City alum. "And I started to date the woman again and we dated for like a couple of months. And then just because we lived together, it didn't work out. She did start dating someone else eventually, and that was very uncomfortable."
But while Morris may not like seeing Winston becoming the odd man out in the loft, he doesn't mind at all that his character's becoming odder by the week.
Having joined the show after the pilot, when Damon Wayans Jr., who'd been cast as a different character, had to return to ABC's "Happy Endings," Morris found himself playing a character who wasn't quite as well-defined as the others. (Wayans, whose show was recently canceled, will be doing a multi-episode arc on "New Girl" this season.)
Initially, Winston "was kind of the voice of reason . . . the one who was the voice of the audience," Morris said. "There's so much chaos going on in the loft: Schmidt's [Max Greenfield] being a [jerk], Jess is being too quirky and Nick is always pissed off. He [Winston] was the one who was kind of standing back, going, 'What are you guys doing?' "
But as the show's gone on, Winston's been found to have "his own weirdness," he said. (Case in point: last week's cat-brothel episode.)
"He doesn't have a sweet spot. There's no calm with Winston - there's an extreme high or an extreme low. He's really competitive or he doesn't care about it at all."
Morris, meanwhile, has become obsessed with Vine, the six-second video app.
"I spent my whole summer making Vine videos," he said, posting them on Vine as @lamornemorris. "It's such a short format, initially, it seems ridiculous. But you get addicted to it."
'56 Up' and still at it
Forty-nine years after some British 7-year-olds were first brought together for a documentary meant to illustrate class differences, many of the "7 Up" participants are back for another round of sometimes uncomfortable truth-telling.
And, as "56 Up" makes its U.S. TV debut tonight on PBS' "POV," it's hard not to wonder how knowing that director Michael Apted will come knocking every seven years might affect one's choices.
Not at all, insisted Tony Walker, who accompanied Apted to a PBS press conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., this summer and who's participated in every one of the "Up" films.
"It's never been contrived. It's never been sort of, oh, there's about three months to go, so I think I might become a try and get a film job or anything else what I've done," said Walker, a London cabdriver and occasional movie extra.
"No way. Whatever comes along at that particular time of the window is completely honest," Walker said, noting that in "42 Up," "my wife and I had turbulent times in my marriage, and it was a very personal thing to put up in front of the worldwide audience."
As with all the "Up" films, there's no single conclusion to be drawn from 2 1/2 hours spent with the 13 who participated this round - including one who hadn't agreed to be interviewed since "28 Up" - beyond a general sense that no one, rich or poor, has been left untouched by political and economic shifts.
But if an undercurrent of bitterness about the economy runs through many of the interviews, there's also an optimism that not even Apted expected to find.
"I felt that the participants who'd invested energy and time and family life, in fact, seemed to have a more solid ground to themselves to deal with the rigors of living in the United Kingdom in 2012," he said.
"So I found that very rewarding, that the investment in family had paid off, and I had no idea that that was going to come out," he said.
On Twitter: @elgray