Zooey Deschanel thinks her former classmates will be surprised by her success.

The 'New Girl' actress admits she wasn't very popular when she was younger and doesn't believe any of her fellow students could have predicted her stardom.

Speaking to the new Women in Television edition of America's ELLE magazine - in which she appears on the cover along with Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Allison Williams - Zooey said: ''Definitely none of the kids I grew up with would have ever thought, 'Zooey will be on television and have her own show.' ''

The 33-year-old beauty says dealing with bullies at school gave her

''built-in tenacity'' and she believes having to work hard has been good for her and she is never afraid to stand up for herself.

She said: ''Nothing has ever come easy for me, and I think that's a really good thing. I learned at an early age that you have to work hard for what you get.

''I have really stood up for myself on multiple platforms. It's sort of the grown-up version of middle-school nastiness, and I'm just like, come on. If there's one thing I'd like to graduate from, it's girl-on-girl hate. I don't believe in it.''