Are you ready for The Next Big Thing? With SBJCT, I have always avoided click-bait headlines, but somehow, in the case of this ferociously talented and insightful actor- it seems like a given as opposed to a gimmick. This firey Scorpio (and I didn’t label her- she knows herself well), now adds Producer to her credits, and her latest project BUFFALOED has her fingerprints all over it. Here’s to giving enough of a sh*t to pay attention to ALL of the parts in motion. Read on…
BY ERIN WALSH
DRESS Gucci HAT Gucci EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher NECKLACE Mounser
ERIN WALSH Tell me about your beginnings in this industry. You have been acting since high school professionally yes? Tell me how you got started and some of your first breaks.
ZOEY DEUTCH It all started when I played Carmen the gypsy moth in the bug play in the second grade. Just kidding. But actually that was the first time I publicly performed and let me just say it’s deeply embarrassing to watch. I was really feeling myself. I’ve yet to be as confident as I was at that moment in my life ever again. Yes, I started acting professionally when I was 14 or 15. My first job was on THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK & CODY and then I did a movie called BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.
EW Let’s talk BUFFALOED. I am just so psyched at the gumption you showcase here, both as an actor and your producing skills. Tell me what it’s like to do both on a set. Was it more of a burden or a pleasure for you? Or both?
ZD Thank you so much! It was definitely more of a pleasure than burden to be able to produce BUFFALOED as well as act in it. I feel like producing and being involved with the details and every step along the way only made me a better performer. I like having information. I thrive off of information. I do not do well when I feel like things are being kept from me or information withheld from me. It’s a joy to be a part of the whole process. I love it.
DRESS Mary Katranzou SHOES Converse x CDG SOCKS Fogal EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher
EW I love that some people take producing credits and kind of ride them, but you, my dear Scorpio, literally did everything and anything. Tell us what this means. What did producing this project entail for you?
ZD I read BUFFALOED when I was in New York shooting SET IT UP. I fell in love with the character and story. I started working with Brooke Davies and Elizabeth Grave, Mason Novick and Brian Sacca who were producing the film. We went on to work on the script a bit and find a perfect match of a director, which was Tanya Wexler. She’s a force to be reckoned with so kind, brilliant, capable, prepared… a dream.
EW Why Buffaloed? How did this project come to you?
ZD I felt like it was such a unique piece. A story about a young woman stuck, who will do anything to escape what seems like a dead end life. That’s a story I haven’t heard before. I loved her sharp mind—and even sharper mouth. I think I fell that much more in love with Peg because it’s a story that would usually feature a male protagonist. And she goes against the typical expectations of femininity, instead embodying feminist ideals, such as her determination to provide for herself without being reliant on male figures.
DRESS Magda Butrym BOOTS Magda Butrym EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher
EW Can you give us a brief synopsis of the film?
ZD It’s a funny yet poignant story about a young woman obsessed with making enough money to get out of her blue collar existence… and finding her calling in an ethically debatable industry; the one that destroyed her chances of becoming anybody, somebody, to begin with: debt collecting. I fell in love with the character and the writer’s (Brian Sacca) world.
EW Tell me about acting. How do you approach roles? Both from a physical and a mental perspective?
ZD I think it depends on the part but generally speaking I feel very lucky to have the mentors and teachers that I have in my life to help guide me through the preparation process. I love working with my movement teacher named Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Mai and Nancy Banks and Liz Himelstein and just some amazing amazing friends and again mentors in my life. I really enjoy the process of breaking scripts down. Taking it from cerebral ideas to literal ideas…
EW Does it change from role to role? And how did you prep for this project specifically?
ZD I like to use the Alexander Technique, and I love finding an animal for each character. I love breaking the script down…. and like I said before, taking it from being cerebral ideas to tangible ideas. I love the details and props that feel specific to the character. I love finding symbols and images and colors. I love getting inside another person’s brain and asking them questions. I’m curious about people. I’m curious about the characters. That’s why I do what I do.
EW What projects have you seen recently that you are excited about?
ZD I fell in love with JOJO RABBIT. I am in awe of Taika’s writing; his poetry, his humor, brilliance, thoughtfulness. For me, the unexpected nature of the storytelling and placement of this tone in such a gruesome setting speaks to the truest ethos of Jewish people as I know them; always finding laughter in the darkness.
EW What are you currently working on? Do you prescribe to anything like 5 or 10 year plans?
ZD I’m working on developing and producing a scripted podcast, developing a show, and producing a movie this summer. I hope I get to continue learning and stretching the producorial muscle as well as act. I would love to do a musical, I would love to work with David O Russel, I would love to get a great part, I would love to continue to make it a priority to travel a lot.
EW Typical day for you. Walk us through the structure or non- structure?
ZD Typical day for me. Wake up, make coffee, start emailing, take my dog out, come back continue emailing, read scripts, work on an audition if there is one, eat, work out, run errands, email some more. Damn this is a boring explanation but it’s the best that I can do! Lol.
When your hobby, your passion, the thing you love to do becomes your job, I think it’s important to find other things you like to do to place enjoyment in.
EW Favorite human to spend Sunday with.
ZD My sister or mom because I love them and because they are really good at making me food… and because I love them. But mostly because they feed me well. Or my friend Carver because she makes me laugh so hard that I can’t breathe.
EW Favorite place to just BE.
ZD My home with my dog.
DRESS Gucci HAT Gucci SOCKS Fogal BOOTS Schutz EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher NECKLACE Mounser
EW Talk me through art. Both being an artist and an actor- where does it sit in terms of general mission for you. That is, do you believe your profession to be a vocation?
ZD When your hobby, your passion, the thing you love to do becomes your job, I think it’s important to find other things you like to do to place enjoyment in. Otherwise your whole world is your job. I love my job so much. And I feel lucky that I get to do what I love. But I think it’s important to have a hobby. Something to place enjoyment and fulfillment out of that isn’t what you make your livelihood on. A hobby is something done semi regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. not to be turned into a profession. Something for yourself.
FULL LOOK Rodarte EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher
EW Mentors along the way you would care to shout out?
ZD Nancy Banks, Jean Louise Rodrigue, my mother. My grandma Babah who was an amazing weird rule breaking artist who slept during the day and painted and wrote at night. She was legally blind, but still worked every day. It’s amazing to see the different phases of paintings she had gone through, and what happened later in life with her style ever since her seeing became impaired. I would imagine by that age, you must feel like you’ve lived a thousand lives, with all the experiences and stories, but it’s cool to actually be able to see the thousand lives, portrayed and felt through her art. She’s my hero, and if I could work half has hard as she did and love what I do half as much as her, I’ll be set.
EW Any causes or charities you would like to draw attention to?
ZD Check out Corazon De Vida… it’s an amazing organization that provides life changing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Baja Mexico.
EW What should we be- reading, watching, doing this year. At least 3 suggestions.
ZD Definitely read THREE WOMEN, A LITTLE LIFE and SAPIENS.
JACKET Gucci DRESS Gucci TIGHTS Fogal SHOES Giuseppe Zanotti EARRINGS Jennifer Fisher NECKLACE Mounser
I love my job and I love what I get to do but I care much more about people thinking I’m a kind and interesting person than a good actor.
EW I love your ability to really go there in terms of extremes in performance while walking the line of utter truth- like in some of your performances, I have watched you go from hilarious to heartbreaking pretty seamlessly. How do you hone your craft? And was this seemingly natural ability always there for you, even as a young actor?
ZD Thank you so much! That’s so nice.
EW Advice for young actors?
ZD Take classes, go to improv, read plays out loud with friends, learn new accents, prepare to get lucky.
EW What do you intend your legacy to be?
ZD I love my job and I love what I get to do but I care much more about people thinking I’m a kind and interesting person than a good actor.