Zoey Deutch! Zoey Deutch! Say it loud and proud, because the actress known for her roles in Why Him?, Before I Fall, and Everybody Wants Some!! is a massive rising star. It's not a surprise that she is the daughter of Back to the Future star Lea Thompson and Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch, because she is a born natural. She can play the girlfriend or the mean girl sure, but in her newest film Flower she is a complete force of nature. Her character Erica is a complex one and the perfect vehicle to catapult Zoey into the upper levels of must-see actors. AMovieGuy.com was so lucky to be able to ask Zoey some questions on the Hot Seat!
AMG.COM: Zoey, I want to clear my throat and just say congratulations on your growing success and your performance here in Flower. I was a big fan of your work before, but I feel like this is the film that highlights your energy and how good you are, so keep up the great work.
ZOEY DEUTCH: Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it.
AMG.COM: Before we talk more about Flower, I wanted to ask you about your family. I know you're very close, obviously your mother is a legend from the Back to the Future films, and your father has directed classics like Pretty in Pink. Was growing up with parents of that status something you appreciate more as you cement yourself into the acting and movie industry?
ZOEY DEUTCH: Well, I genuinely have so much gratitude for being able to be surrounded and raised by like-minded artists. I appreciate them and their work a lot.
AMG.COM: The first film where I started to notice you was in Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! Would you say your experience on that film, with that director, was a beginning, where you found your voice, and confidence as an actor? And can you just elaborate on what you learned working with Linklater?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I had been working for a bit, so I don’t necessarily remember that experience being one where I found my voice. but it definitely was the first experience I had in working with a such a seasoned, respected, and incredible director. He is unbelievably collaborative and egoless. He’s a dream to work with. That whole process of making the film was a dream.
AMG.COM: You have worked in various genres of film already, but recently with Why Him? and in a darker comedy like Flower, you are showing off your comedic side. Do you like being able to let loose in comedies?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I think I prepare for comedies the same way I prepare for dramas, so I’m not so sure it feels like letting loose, but I love being able to do everything, and anything. it would be quite the bummer for me to stick to one genre. I’m dying to do a musical, or a psychological thriller, or a western. I want to do it all.
AMG.COM: I really enjoyed Flower. I would think the character of Erica would be a tough role to prepare for. She takes matters into her own hands, has a confidence in her sexuality, and throws caution to the wind in life. So, how did you relate to this character to become her?
ZOEY DEUTCH: Thank you! So glad you enjoyed. The character felt so complicated and frustrating and fragile. Being able to live with her and to really understand why she does the things she does was important. Nothing about Erica is spontaneous. It's always some form of manipulation or test to see if someone is going to leave her or not.
AMG.COM: Do you have any other actors that you have tried to emulate or been inspired by in your career/acting style?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I admire so many actors, but I am not trying to emulate or be anyone but myself. The hero and idol always is Kathryn Hepburn.
AMG.COM: I loved the cast in Flower, especially Kathryn Hahn, whom you have great chemistry with. I know your mom has been a large part of your life and I'm interested to know if you brought any of that onto set with your character?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I love Kathryn and I loved working with her. She’s truly special. And Erica is just looking for some semblance of control. At 17, with all the changes that are taking place, the strange hormones running through your body, and agents of change, I think that all of Erica‘s bad behavior comes from the fact that she feels very much out of control which desperately scares her. Between her father taking off when she was young, Erica has found her entire identity through her very unhealthy relationship with her mother. Which is more like sisters than an authoritarian relationship.
However, with the emergence of Laurie ‘s new boyfriend Erica gets the feeling that she could be replaced. There have been other boyfriends in the past, but Erica has always been on able to scare them away leaving Laurie feeling very much alone unbeknownst to Erica. When you’re young there is a self-involved cavalier attitude that some people possess in which they want to take on other people’s problems and make it their own. Even if they’re not keep fully capable of understanding what the repercussions are.
AMG.COM: With Before I Fall and Flower those are two films with you as the central character, as opposed to being just stereotyped roles like “the girlfriend” or “popular girl”. Do you find yourself looking for more complex scripts where you can have that opportunity to lead?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I love playing good parts. I loved playing the New York socialite Oona O’Neil in Rebel in The Rye or the manipulative and bitchy Emily Asher in Beautiful Creatures, which on the surface are smaller than leading parts, but I love good parts. That’s all I’m looking for. Big or small. Good parts.
AMG.COM: I wanted to ask you about working with Max Winkler and Matt Spicer. What did you enjoy about working with him on this film specifically?
ZOEY DEUTCH: Both Max Winkler and Matt Spicer are both smart as hell and funny as shit. I had an absolute blast and love them both.
AMG.COM: What did you use to inspire you for this role? Any movies?
ZOEY DEUTCH: I definitely relied on my own adolescence to inform the character of Erica.
AMG.COM: Lastly, I read that you grew up with a lot of animals and I like to always end interviews with a fun question, so what would you say is yours or your character Erica's Spirit Animal?
ZOEY DEUTCH: A pig. She’s very misunderstood. Like a pig!
AMG.COM: Thank you again Zoey! It's great to talk to you and I can't wait to continue to watch your star rise!
ZOEY DEUTCH: Ah thank you so much for taking the time. Lovely talking with you!!