Ben Gibbard Was 'Awestruck' That Zooey Deschanel Even Talked to Him

11/02/2011 at 11:05 AM EDT

Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel Split: He was 'Awestruck' Even Talked to Him
Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel
Frazer Harrison/WireImage
The "amicable ... mutual" marital split of The New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and musician Ben Gibbard, announced Tuesday, brings to an end a relationship that began when their manager first introduced them.

"I was just awestruck that she was even talking to me," Gibbard, 35, recalling that initial meeting, said for a September New York magazine cover story on his wife (since 2009, after their 10-month engagement).

"I'd seen her movies and obviously I thought she was very beautiful," said the Death Cab for Cutie lead singer, 35.

Gibbard also admitted that whenever he witnessed other guys being taken with his (500) Days of Summer star wife, he would simply stand guard.

"Every once in a while, there's a guy that tries to be charming and goofy. I'm just kind of like, 'I'm going to wait this out and make sure it doesn’t get inappropriate,' " he said.

As for her recollection of when they first met, Deschanel, 31, was asked if she and Gibbard bonded over music. She answered by not answering.

"I'm wary about this thing about being in the generation of social networking where people are like, 'I am my musical taste,' " she replied. "I am not just a collection of music. ... I think that's a thing that people romanticize: 'Oh my God, she likes this band so she is a dream.' I've definitely learned that you can easily get stars in your eyes."

She added: "Just because somebody likes something doesn't mean ... anything, really."

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