Photography by Roberto Patella
Styling by Leonardo Caliguri
Zoey Deutch has been having an exciting fall. Though she has been on the scene for nearly a decade, getting her start on Disney and The CW before starring in films like Vampire Academy, Flower, and Set It Up, the actress is enjoying a new era following the debut of two of her biggest projects yet.
The first of these is Netflix’s new series The Politician, which comes from the minds of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan—otherwise known as the dream team behind Glee and Scream Queens. Starring Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, an ambitious teen gunning for student body president, and also counting Gwyneth Paltrow as his equestrian mother among its all-star cast, the show’s first season is a twisted yet oh-so-true commentary on America’s currently chaotic political landscape, set in the feverish world of backstabbing high school students and their equally psychotic parents. Deutch plays Infinity Jackson, Hobart’s running mate who falsely believes she has cancer, exhibiting a complex relationship with her grandmother (played by Lange) as she makes shocking discoveries over the course of the campaign. Beyond providing another high-profile opportunity for the actress to showcase the nuances of her talent, the show has fostered a tight bond between its cast members, something Deutch enjoyed during a night out after the recent premiere. As many great evenings among young New Yorkers do, the celebration ended with pierogies at Veselka.
Deutch has also been bonding with the cast of Zombieland: Double Tap, having joined original stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone alongside other new cast members like Rosario Dawson and Luke Wilson for the second installment in the zombie comedy adventure. Playing a dumb blonde named Madison, Deutch is central to the film’s constant laughs, proving she is right at home alongside the household names with whom she shares the screen.
Deutch is quite literally killing it in Hollywood, already being called the next big thing. She’s quickly becoming a fashion star as well, sitting front row at Fendi's latest Haute Couture show and serving standout modern glamour at every event she attends, so there’s a lot to be excited about on all sides of the aisle as she continues owning the spotlight. But while Deutch’s star has risen higher than ever before, there’s still plenty to learn about the actress behind some of today’s most fascinating comedic roles. We caught up with the talent to discover five things that you may not yet know about her, but should.
She’s a natural comic.
It’s no wonder that Deutch has been working on primarily comedy projects in the early years of her career, as she grew up in a household that appreciated this genre. The daughter of director Howard Deutch and actress-director Lea Thompson, both of whom have significant experience with comedy in both film and TV, she found the medium to be about so much more than a moment of laughter.
“I really love the idea that comedy is acting out of optimism and positivity,” Deutch says of her secrets to succeeding in this genre. “I find it a lot easier to be funny when you’re positive.”
She never had the chance to meet Bill Murray on the set of Zombieland: Double Tap.
Though Deutch and Murray both play key roles in the new zombie comedy, they never actually crossed paths. “I feel like everyone has the craziest Bill Murray stories, but I haven’t joined the club yet,” the actress says. “Hopefully soon.”
Though that encounter has yet to happen, Deutch did, of course, spend plenty of time with the rest of the star-studded cast. She found it inspiring to work with the likes of Stone, Harrelson, Eisenberg, and Breslin, and she knew the importance of going into the experience without expectations.
“It’s not fair to put that much pressure on people you don’t know,” she says. “You can’t put them on a pedestal, but also it’s surprising how fun and amazing the experience was. It was one of the only times in my life that I’d come home at the end of the day and felt good.”
She knows a role is right when she has a visceral reaction to it.
While Deutch clarifies that she is not one of the Meryl Streeps of the world (yet) and thus still auditions for her roles, she does have a strong sense for when she wants to pursue something further. While she doesn’t pinpoint a specific aspect of a role to make or break her interest, she knows an opportunity is good when she finds herself involuntarily reacting.
“If I find myself reading the lines out loud, it generally means that I’m connecting and I want to audition for it,” Deutch explains. “My body reacts before my mind does.”
Streep, actually, is an inspiration for the young actress, who keeps a particular quote from the legend in mind: “Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.” By paying attention to the roles that connect with her most naturally, Deutch definitely seems to be following that advice.
Katharine Hepburn is one of her style icons.
Being in the world of entertainment, Deutch has been getting a lot of opportunities to experiment with her style. In July, she attended Fendi’s Fall 2019 couture show, which she called “surreal,” and she has been known to play up the glamour at premieres, talk show appearances, and last week’s Guggenheim International Gala. But what stands out most to the actress is the confidence that fashion brings her.
“I love fashion because it’s liberating to dress up and be someone else,” Deutch explains. “It’s freeing and it’s exciting and it should be fun. I feel very powerful.”
And though many of Deutch’s outfits may be elegant gowns and Instagram-ready summer blouses, she also appreciates a good power suit, loving the general sense of authority that comes with sartorial freedom. “I’ve always been obsessed with Katharine Hepburn and all the suits that she wore,” she says. “She paved her way through history straddling the line of what was conventionally accepted in fashion and beauty. Getting dressed up makes me feel in charge.”
She texts her family and friends to decide what to wear.
Despite the magic Deutch sees in putting together a strong outfit, she has a harder time pinpointing a signature look. Opinionated but indecisive, she appreciates a range of aesthetics.
“I’m a tad bipolar when it comes to everyday style,” Deutch explains. “I like flowy prairie girl dresses, and I also feel very much comfortable in a ‘90s black suit. Right now, I’m wearing my mom’s Levi’s high-waisted pants and a white shirt.”
Luckily, the actress has a foolproof (and very 2019) method for finally nailing down a decision. “I text ten people before I make a final decision,” she says. “The last deciding opinion was my sister. That’s who gets the biggest vote for sure.”
Makeup Jenna Kristina
Hair Massimo Serini
Photo Assistant Luca Costa