Category: Interviews

How Zoey Deutch Made “Flower” Bloom With In-Character Therapy and Female Crew

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Flower is a bold offbeat dramedy in which Zoey Deutch touches tongues with Kathryn Hahn, tries to date Adam Scott and offers her future stepbrother a blowjob. Co-written and directed by Max Winkler, son of Henry Winkler, the acquisition title makes its world premiere on Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Deutch stars as Erica, a teenage girl who rabidly scavenges suburbia for love and validation (i.e. using sex to extort money from much older men as a way of handling the imprisonment of her father). But things become unpredictable when her free-spirited mother (Hahn) introduces her to a soon-to-be stepbrother — overweight, unstable and fresh out of rehab. “She has issues with anxiety and abandonment,” Deutch tells The Hollywood Reporter. “And like most young women, she doesn’t know how to navigate through all these things that she’s experiencing.”

To authentically capture her character’s mixture of childlike ardency and urgent rebellion, Deutch dove into texts ranging from Judy Blume classics to Andrea Dworkin feminist literature. Reviving Ophelia and Erotic Capital shed light on female adolescence, and Sex at Dawn and The Ethical Slut shared more on monogamy and polyamory. And before production began, she attended therapy sessions as Erica — Winkler observed, and the specialist knew nothing of the role.

Additionally, the 17-day shoot in the San Fernando Valley was strategically staffed with a female crew. “Our line producer, cinematographer, production designer, wardrobe designer, editor — all women. I didn’t even meet with men,” Winkler explains. “I grew up as this short and nerdy guy who didn’t always relate to the ideas of masculinity portrayed in movies, and honestly saw more of myself in female characters like Erica. So I wanted a set where everyone felt totally comfortable and empowered to tell me their ideas and hold me accountable for any misinterpretations. I think the more we can place ourselves inside each other’s narratives and connect across lines of difference, the better.”

What resulted is Deutch’s second starring vehicle, following last month’s Before I Fall adaptation. “Making this movie was wildly vulnerable and felt like a real risk, but I never once felt judged or unsafe,” says the 22-year-old actress, who is also Lea Thompson’s daughter. “It was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had making a movie, and I’m heartsick for the experience. It’s just 17 days, but it completely changed my life.”

Zoey Deutch on Valley diners, growing up in Hollywood and why “ambition” is a dirty word

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C MAGAZINE — At a diner on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley, the kind with vinyl banquettes and a case near the entrance stocked with slightly stale pastries and mayo-rich “salads,” actor Zoey Deutch is a regular. The recent star of Before I Fall—the indie screen adaptation of the dark young-adult novel of the same name—orders matzo ball soup and compliments our elderly waitress, with whom she is on a first-name basis, on the eccentric purple streaks in her close-cropped hair. Then the woman touches Deutch’s shoulder in a way that feels so friendly and familiar that you know, you just know, that the 22-year-old actress is the kind of person that you are going to like.

“Everything in my life happens in this place,” says Deutch, using her hands when she speaks, almost leaping out of her seat with energy as she gestures around the room at the gray linoleum and bad lighting. “I’ve been coming since I was a little kid. I have all of my family dinners here. I bring first dates here! I sit here and read. I have all of my meetings here, if I can.” Next to her on the table is a bookmarked copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

The whole setup would make a great scene for a teen movie, if the writer wanted to introduce a sympathetic female lead who is grounded despite her obvious beauty, a small-but-spunky girl who doesn’t forget where she came from. Maybe it’s no coincidence then that teen movies are in Deutch’s DNA. Her parents, actor Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch, met in 1987 on the set of Some Kind of Wonderful, one of two movies her father directed that was written by the late prolific ’80s screenwriter John Hughes (the first was Pretty in Pink). “It’s hard to grasp when someone says my parents touched them in some way—that their voices were in their heads,” she says.

They married in 1989 and had two girls, Zoey and her older sister, Madelyn, also an actor, who were raised nearby and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). From the sound of it, the youngest Deutch always had an outsized personality.

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Getting dressed with Zoey Deutch

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VIOLET GREY — As her hair-and-makeup team attend to her at VIOLET GREY Melrose Place, actress Zoey Deutch is contemplating her busy year. Tonight she’s attending GQ’s Man of the Year dinner, a festive pit stop after 12 months of nonstop filming. “Between Why Him?, a studio comedy; Before I Fall, an indie drama in which I died a bunch; and Rebel in the Rye, which is a period piece taking place in the ’30s—I play Oona O’Neill, Eugene O’Neill’s daughter—and then Flower, which is a dark, dark, dark comedy and I play a girl with borderline personality disorder,” she pauses to catch her breath, “I feel so lucky that I’ve had these great, distinctly different parts.”

Most pressing of the films is Why Him?, in which she stars alongside James Franco and Bryan Cranston as the daughter who brings home the boyfriend from hell (Franco) for Christmas. “I’m really excited about Why Him?, which is coming out on Christmas Day. It’s super funny and my first Christmas film,” she laughs. “I had the opportunity to work with Bryan Cranston—I love him, I always have, and if you don’t, your feelings are wrong.” The serial wisecracker cackles. “I fear talking about him in case I sound like an obsessed fan, but he’s truly generous and thoughtful. As a young actor, it was such a gift to work with him.”

Given her robust schedule, Deutch likes to keep her beauty regimen minimal, hewing toward drugstore brands like Cetaphil or, she confesses, Costco shampoo. But she admits to investing in high-wattage products she knows work for her skin. “I love the IS Clinical serum; it’s really strong but fantastic,” she says. She also notes, “I want to get SCBI stem cell masks,” the organic, vegan products that use the innovative technology. “They’re so nice, they work, and they’re fantastic.”
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Zoey Deutch: The New Face

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GALLERY LINK
Magazine Scans > 2016 > Harper’s Bazaar (September)
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2016 > Session 012

HARPER’S BAZAAR — To say that acting is at Zoey Deutch’s core is not hyperbole—just look at her family tree.

Father: Howard Deutch, who directed two of John Hughes’s classic ’80s films,Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. Mother: Lea Thompson, actress and ’80s icon herself, who starred as Michael J. Fox’s mother in the Back to the Future trilogy before going on to play the title character in the ’90s sitcom Caroline in the City.

Combine those two gene pools, and show business was more than a no-brainer for Deutch; it wasn’t even a question. “I never have a fun answer to the question of how I decided to become an actress,” says the 21-year-old. “I never had that ‘aha!‘ moment. It was just always what I wanted to do.”

After a childhood of watching her parents at work (“It was definitely a strange experience when I would see my mom making out with various people; it made me question if my parents really loved each other,” she jokes), Deutch made her screen debut at age 15. Like many young stars, she began her career at the Disney Channel, playing the love interest of Dylan Sprouse’s character on The Suite Life on Deck.

True, she may not have had the same headline status as fellow House of Mouse graduates Miley, Selena, and Demi, but fast-forward to the present and Deutch has become a leading lady in her own right. Not unlike Jessica Chastain’s meteoric rise in the movie industry in 2011, when the then-little-known actress starred in five films over eight months, Deutch is rising through the ranks of Hollywood’s most in demand.

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Zoey Deutch on ‘Dirty Grandpa,’ ‘Everybody Wants Some’ & Being Directed by Her Mom

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GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2016 > Session 002

VARIETY — The daughter of Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch, Zoey Deutch dove into acting at age 15 with Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck.” After roles in CW’s “Ringer” and 2014’s “Vampire Academy,” the 21-year-old will cross party paths with Robert De Niro in “Dirty Grandpa” (Jan. 22), show her baseball skills in Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some” (April 15) and is collaborating on “The Year of Spectacular Men” with another special director: her mom.

What do you love about “Dirty Grandpa”?

I shot it, so you’d think I’d have some concept of how raunchy and funny it is. But the movie just keeps surprising you in terms of how crazy it is.

Who do you play?

I’m an environmentally-conscious college student in Miami, who takes a spring break trip to Daytona Beach with her best friends — where they run into Jason (Zac Efron). And then insanity ensues.
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