Meet Zoey Deutch, The Woman Who Balances The Bro Scales in Everybody Wants Some!!

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images.
2016 might finally be the year Zoey Deutch can convince her friends that she does, in fact, work for a living. The actress has been out of town filming on location nonstop for the past two-and-a-half years, but her best friends in Los Angeles were starting to wonder if she was fabricating the whole acting career thing. "I literally had to sit down with a couple of my friends who thought I was ignoring them," says Deutch, 21. "They’re like, ‘Well, where are these things that you’re working on? Nothing of yours has come out. Are you lying to us? Are you disappearing into the dark of night and not calling us back?’" She continues, "And now they’re like, 'Oh, now we get it! It’s all coming out right now.'"

It sure is. Though Deutch grew up in the business (her mom is actress Lea Thompson and dad is Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch) this year she's making a grand Hollywood entrance with a series of projects of her own. First up is Everybody Wants Some!!, the laid-back look at a college baseball team in 1980s Texas (currently in theaters) that director Richard Linklater has described as a "spiritual sequel" to his 1993 classic Dazed and Confused. The lone gal in a sea of bros, Deutch plays the exuberant, outgoing woman who attracts the attention of Blake Jenner's character.

Deutch also just wrapped filming on Why Him?, a comedy starring Bryan Cranston as her overprotective father and James Franco as what she calls her "well-meaning but very socially awkward billionaire boyfriend." She will also be at New York City's Tribeca Film Festival next week for the premiere of Vincent-N-Roxxy, a crime thriller with Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz, and Kid Cudi, in which she plays Kate, a character who's "not quite trailer trash. She’s more of a trailer flower," the actress explains. And later this year, we'll see Deutch in The Year Of Spectacular Men, an indie film written by her sister Madelyn and directed by their mom. “The whole project is as grassroots and personal as you can get," Deutch explains.

And finally, just last month, it was announced that Deutch will be starring opposite Nicholas Hoult in the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye, in which she'll play Oona O'Neil, the woman who dated Salinger before later marrying Charlie Chaplin.

We rang up the busy actress to chat about the big year ahead.
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
The cast of Everybody Wants Some!!
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Tell me about how you initially got involved in Everybody Wants Some!!.
"I was shooting in Boston and I got a request to do a self-tape, so I put myself on tape. So far this is a very exciting story. [Laughs.] And then I was asked to fly out to Austin, and I only had a few hours. So I landed and I met Rick — Richard Linklater — at a restaurant and had lunch with him. And then he drove me to my own audition with him.

"And then I met with Blake Jenner. We had this meeting with Blake and Rick, and just discussed art and life and the film and characters. At the end of it, Rick handed me a stack of five CDs and I left. I remember looking at the CDs in the car ride to the airport thinking, one, what a sweet consolation prize. And two, where am I going to be able to play these?! My laptop doesn't even have a disk drive anymore. But it ended up being music to listen to [while we were] shooting."

The music really helped you get in the right headspace for the film?
"Definitely. I think music was such an important factor and vital element of that culture. It wasn’t really ‘80s music, though. It was more '70s music because the movie specifically took place in September of 1980. Rick likes to say that the '80s we think of nowadays in 2016 didn't really start until '82."
I noticed that. Everything in the movie had a very late ‘70s vibe — the clothes, the music…
"Yeah, and he [Linklater] was very, very time-period specific. Like, I wanted to hum a Blondie song, 'Heart of Glass,' at the beginning of the dorm room scene… And he was like, “No, it [wasn't out by] September. I think it was ’81.' Yeah, so he was very, very careful about that kind of stuff and the posters I had in my dorm."
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Deutch and co-star Blake Jenner.
Before filming started, you and all the other actors hung out for a couple of weeks on Richard’s ranch in Austin, right?
"Yes. It was amazing. While we were goofing off and hanging out and philosophizing, we were just hanging out but we didn’t realize he was working. He was watching, and writing and creating off of us just being goofballs. We were working, we just didn’t know it half the time." [Laughs]

Talk to me about your character Beverly.
"My character Beverly obviously brings a little bit of romance to the table, and it shows a different side of Blake Jenner’s character, Jake. She’s intelligent and sweet but deep. She and Jake are from two different worlds and are most likely headed in two different directions, but they find each other this first weekend at school."
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Deutch and co-star Blake Jenner.
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Walking out of the theater, one of the questions on my mind was whether the romance between Blake and Beverly was just a weekend fling or something that would last.
"We talked a bit about whether it was a one-weekend romance for Blake and Beverly or if it lasted the course of the year, or four years. All the guys were laughing at me because I had maybe the guy version — I’m partial to thinking it was a fling. And Blake was like, 'No, it lasted a while!' But at the end of the day, for me what’s cool about this movie is that’s not the point. It’s fun to leave the audience wondering. It's not conventional — it ends where most movies begin. With Blake and my relationship, it ends with us just meeting. How cool is that?"

The ending is kind of like the antithesis of the big explosive final scene.
"Yeah! I mean someone the other day said to me, the boys are in Dazed and Confused and you’re in Boyhood. I love that."
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