Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 010
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.
Continue reading Zoey Deutch on Valley diners, growing up in Hollywood and why “ambition” is a dirty word