07/30/2013 04:48 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2013

Jake Johnson Had To Lose Weight Before Getting 'New Girl' Role (VIDEO)

Jake Johnson has gotten a lot of attention -- if no Emmy love -- for his performance this past season on "New Girl." He dropped by "The Tonight Show" and reminisced about when he landed his breakout roll on the hit comedy, as well as the condition that job came with.

“I get a call from my manager, saying congratulations," Johnson said. "You gotta lose 15 pounds before we start, because you’re too fat for Fox ... I love Chicago food, but I got too fat for Fox."

“You should tell them to go Fox themselves," Jay Leno quipped. "You’re going to eat Chicago food.”

Ironically though, Johnson also told Leno that he actually was the "inspiration" for the show. He said that he and the show's creator, Derek Waters, got wasted one night and Johnson would not stop rambling about Otis Redding. And from that, came "New Girl." Or something like that.

At least the Chicago native got to drink a lot of real beer while filming his new movie, "Drinking Buddies." Of course, that means he might have had to lose some weight again -- if he drank a bit too much of it -- in anticipation of the third season of "New Girl," kicking off September 17.

In the meantime, fans can catch him in another booze-related project as a featured performer on Comedy Central's "Drunk History" this summer.

Catch "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

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