Zoey Deutch: Just Jared Spotlight of the Week (Exclusive!)
The 19-year-old actress was photographed by Justin Campbell in some super chic and floral themed looks from Burberry Prorsum and Dolce&Gabbana.
Zoey stars in the upcoming movie Vampire Academy, which will be hitting theaters everywhere on February 7. You might recognize her from her role in the movie Beautiful Creatures or from her guest spot opposite mom Lea Thompson on the series Switched at Birth.
In our exclusive interview with Zoey, she talks about working on her new movie, how the milkmaid braids are becoming her signature hairstyle, and gives insight on some hilarious hypothetical situations with boyfriend Avan Jogia.
Click inside to read JJ’s exclusive interview with Zoey Deutch…
Zoey Deutch Interview – Just Jared Exclusive
Just Jared: Tell us what drew you to Vampire Academy. What was so special about this movie, since there are quite a number of vampire shows and movies?
Zoey Deutch: I don’t really feel there has been a big vampire film recently, although it’s a subject and a genre that has definitely been explored and in some people’s eyes perhaps overdone. I haven’t done extensive research, but I don’t think there’s been too many vampire films as funny as this. It’s always funny when people ask me why I was attracted to it because what most people wouldn’t understand is… I don’t go out and go, “Oh I want that part,” and then all of a sudden I get it, you know? I’m constantly auditioning all the time, even while I’m working, to get a job that I like.
Most people are kind of struggling because they’re taking jobs to make money. But in this instance, it all came together in a way that I feel very fortunate. I loved the character – it’s a kind of bad-ass heroine who uses her humor as a defense mechanism, as a means of survival. And for some ungodly reason I got the part, so that’s how it all came to be. It came to fruition.
JJ: What was your favorite scene to film?
ZD: The action sequences were the scariest. I was very, very careful about making sure that I wouldn’t hurt anyone else. And we had a great stunt team behind us. I was a dancer when I was younger so that certainly helped me. My body and muscle memory were able to perform.
JJ: What did you prepare for most, action scenes or emotional scenes?
ZD: I would say that I prepared more for the emotional stuff because I couldn’t prepare for the action stuff because half of it, I would be taught the action sequences like ten minutes before, which is even more terrifying. I’m like, “How the f–k do you use nunchucks?” I really have no idea. That was definitely interesting.
JJ: Do you have a favorite prop from set?
ZD: I love, I loooooove props, but [the director] Mark [Waters] wanted it to be pretty prop-less. So I didn’t really have too many props, unfortunately.
JJ: So you didn’t steal anything from set?
ZD: I did. I stole a towel that said, “St. Vladimir” which is the school, and I’m just revealing that now. (laughs)
JJ: What’s your favorite off screen moment?
ZD: It was so long, I can’t pick one. We were all pretty… I have a weird balance of being completely aware of everything that’s going on and needing to basically be my own A.D. (assistant director), understanding exactly what’s going everywhere and at the exact same time – just being a total goof and having fun with everybody.
I know Mark Waters consciously made an effort to keep my energy very high. As you know, I’m an extremely hyper person. So I was working 16, 17 hours a day for four months including night shoots while being aware of everything, being hyper. And then I made sure that I would go out on weekends to maintain a stable and happy mind opposed to just working all the time. I was exhausted, so I can’t really think of one specific instance, but it was a great experience overall, for sure.
JJ: Can you think of one though? (laughs)
ZD: Oh! This isn’t a favorite memory, this is just a really funny memory. I had to train during lunch, because we were working such long hours. I wouldn’t have time in the morning or afterwards to weight train and stuff, which needed to be maintained throughout filming, even though there was virtually no time at all. So we would try and make time during lunch.
Instead of going in my trailer and training with my personal trainer, I did it outside on the ground, with a towel, just to f–k with everybody while they were eating lunch. (laughs) Just to torture them and be like, “Look what I’m doing!” Push-ups, sit-ups, weights. And it was raining too! That was funny. Everybody teased me for a long time after that. It was my revenge for them being able to relax and have lunch. I was like…
JJ: “I’m still working!”
JJ: Describe your Vampire Academy co-stars in one word. Sarah Hyland.
ZD: Well, you know, I’m going to say the worst one for Dom [Sherwood] because his description for everyone was like, “Beautiful, fun, loving,” and then mine was energetic. So you know what Dom, here’s your answer! Let’s go! Let’s do this thing. Sarah Hyland, hilarious!
JJ: Olga Kurylenko.
ZD: Perfect woman.
JJ: Cameron Monaghan.
JJ: Danila Kozlovsky.
ZD: The counterpart to Olga, perfect man.
JJ: Lucy Fry.
ZD: A sense of wonderment.
JJ: Claire Foy.
JJ: Ashley Charles.
ZD: Cracks me up.
JJ: Dominic Sherwood.
ZD: Party boy.
JJ: Do you have a funny story about “The Crow”? Dominic said to ask you about it.
ZD: Dominic? Who’s the crow? Oh my god, that’s not me. What is he talking about? (pauses)
Ohhhh! Okay, okay, I know what he’s talking about… I’m losing my mind. (laughs) It wasn’t a crow, it’s a raven. WRONG, DOMINIC! (laughs) We were shooting Vampire Academy in London, and we shot a couple scenes with two live ravens. If anyone knows anything about that specific bird, they are extremely intelligent creatures. One of the ravens was bored and didn’t want to do it anymore. The raven was like, “Oh this is such an easy job for me, I don’t want to hit my mark anymore. I want to do something else.” It would play games with me! It would make noises at me, and I would do it back. It would hop to one side, then hop to the other side. That’s what I was doing in between takes while I was shooting with the raven. So that’s my story. And everybody was so impressed with this raven hitting its mark. I never get any credit for hitting my mark. If it’s so goddamn smart, why can’t I get any credit?
JJ: (laughs) Three options, kill, marry, screw. Dominic Sherwood, Cameron Monaghan, Sarah Hyland.
ZD: Oh my god, you’re a very bad person! (laughs) If you did all girls, I’d be okay with that. How about we do Sarah, Lucy, and the raven.
JJ: No raven!
ZD: Marry Lucy, screw Sarah, and kill the raven.
JJ: There’s no raven!
ZD: Hahahahaha okay, I’ll do that. Marry Heather, screw Izak, kill Chris. (laughs) Just because circumstantially, I feel like I’m not going to get in trouble for that one because Chris has a girlfriend and I have a boyfriend (Avan Jogia).
JJ: Okay, topic change. Were you named after anyone?
ZD: My sister actually named me. My mother was having the talk and telling her, “Okay, you’re going to have a sibling. I don’t know if it’s going to be a girl or a boy.” And usually kids have a pretty bad reaction. My mom was quite nervous and my sister said, “Oh yeah, that’s Zoey,” and walked away. My mom was like, “well, that was a really crazy, frightening moment. I guess my child’s name is Zoey.” Whether I was a female or male, I was going to be named what I am. And it means life, so does my Hebrew name.
JJ: How about [your middle name] Francis, is that named after someone?
ZD: Yes, someone in my family. My mom’s a really bad speller, it’s supposed to be Frances, but on my birth certificate it’s Francis, like the male version. (laughs)
JJ: Could you tell us about your farm you live on, and all of its animals?
ZD: Yeah. I have horses, chickens, koi fish, an African grey parrot, a Maine Coon cat, a bunch of rescue dogs, a desert tortoise, and a giant bunny rabbit creature. It’s funnily enough, the most difficult out of all the animals to take care of, so high maintenance. His name is Samson, I rescued him from a music video shoot I was doing. Not rescued it, but I just took it home.
JJ: Did you start off with a lot of animals, or did it start with one and it just grew into this farm?
ZD: Most recently, we’ve added quite a few. But we’ve always had horses, and fish, and dogs. Then it kind of expanded from there. I’m really, really hoping for goats as the next venture in our animal hoarding careers.
JJ: Why do you love Studio City so much?
ZD: Did Avan tell you to ask this? Did you ask Avan for questions?
JJ: Maybe. Maybe not. (smirks)
ZD: Ah, shoot. It’s in the middle of everything! It’s in the middle of the Beverly Hills, Santa Monica situation, and then as well as Burbank and you can kind of get anywhere within 25 minutes. Unless there’s terrible traffic, then it takes six or seven hours, but that’s a whole different subject and that happens anywhere in LA. And now we’re getting into that sketch on SNL called “The Californians,” where I’m like “And then you take the 101 to the 405 and get off at Sepulveda.”
JJ: What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
ZD: I think giving, or being given permission, to do or feel the way I do, and not be told to do anything otherwise. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by people who at least, from my perspective don’t try to change me. I think as an artist, that’s wildly important and vital in a creative and growing process. And that goes for love as well, with family, with relationships, or with friends.
JJ: Could you tell us about your time in the Ukraine?
ZD: (laughs) I’ve never been to the Ukraine, but I have a Ukrainian alter ego, who is nameless. She is not even an alter ego, she is basically half of me, because if I am being a brat of if I’ve done anything wrong, I can pretty much get out of any situation with my family or friends or whatever, with that character. Because they like her a lot more than me. (laughs)
JJ: Why is it nameless?
ZD: That’s a whole other subject because she doesn’t remember her name. When she created a new life in America, she doesn’t really remember where she came from.
JJ: Famed filmmaker Izak Rappaport asks…
ZD: (laughs hysterically) Hilarious.
JJ: Who would you rather, Nemo from Finding Nemo or Rex from Toy Story?
ZD: Nemo. No doubt about it.
JJ: What song would break you from a coma?
ZD: “Turn Down for What?” by Lil Jon. (laughs)
JJ: Avan is running around your chicken coop, naked. What happened?
ZD: What happened? That didn’t happen.
JJ: It’s hypothetical.
ZD: Oh, are we improvising here? If he was running around my chicken coop naked, I would point and laugh. And take a lot of photos.
JJ: What happened? How did he get there?
ZD: (laughs) This is going to be misconstrued and people are going to think this is a real story. Hypothetically speaking, if Avan were running around my chicken coop naked, I would again, not ask any questions, because that seems plausible (laughs) for someone like him.
JJ: If I gave you a medal right now, what would it be for?
ZD: For being the quietest and most calm you’ve seen me today. (smiles)
JJ: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done?
ZD: I feel like a very romantic person in all aspects, not just the one specific thing that most people would think, which is in dates. With relationships, I try to do little things that are romantic like this morning, I made breakfast in bed. I don’t know, I try to do nice things all the time.
JJ: Explain your job in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
ZD: Bipolar. Oh wait, three sentences? I still love my boyfriend or husband even though I’m making out naked with this other person on TV or in a movie. Sorry my job is bipolar. I would love to come to your birthday.
JJ: Are the milkmaid braids from the shoot becoming your signature look
ZD: I’m not cool enough to have a signature thing but I like them! It’s kind of weird because I have long hair and I feel like most people want to utilize that while they still have it, and haven’t destroyed it by dyeing it or chopping it off. But it’s just so easy and fun, and kind of flattering.
JJ: What are your favorite features of the opposite sex?
ZD: Charming, sense of humor, being honest whilst maintaining a sense of compassion, understanding, and spontaneous.
JJ: In a biographical film of your life, who would you like to play you?
ZD: Who would ever watch that? That would be the most boring thing. I’ve had an awesome life, but it would be so freaking boring, that autobiography. Who would play me? I don’t know, me. Why can’t I play me? Am I dead? Are you talking about when I’m dead?
JJ: If your name was an acronym, what would the initial letters stand for?
ZD: That isn’t even a question, where did you pull that from? An Urban Outfitters book? If my name was an acronym? Okay, Z is always a hard one. Zany. Oolong Tea is the first thing that just came to my mind. Obscure? Energetic, yell. (laughs) Yeah.
JJ: What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
ZD: I would love to eventually be in fashion. That would be the profession, but I’m definitely interested and passionate about other career fields. Not necessarily pursuing them as a career, but I’m really interested in psychology, linguistics. I don’t care, I just want to learn about anything and everything.
JJ: What would you do in fashion?
ZD: This is such a wild dream that the chances that this would ever come to fruition but it’s good to have big goals. I’d love to have something similar to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They have their more affordable line, as well as their couture. Yeah, I would like to have a couple different things!
JJ: What is fame to you?
ZD: Bullsh-t. I don’t really get it. I’m not one of those people, I think you know. I don’t understand it. It’s kind of fake, it’s all subjective to the situation in that specific time. I don’t really know where the line between fame and celebrity comes into play.
I mean, some people have an easier time getting into a room if they’re famous. Some people have better opportunities if they’re famous. If for instance, I always get the question, “What’s going to happen if your movie is going to be a big hit and you’re going to be famous?” I’m like, well, I guess there are things that suck about that, and it’s kind of bullsh-t. But it’s awesome because that means the movie did well and people enjoyed it. In that way, I can understand it. Other than that, I think it’s quite silly.
JJ: What would you want to be as your last meal?
ZD: My mother’s cooking. Everything she makes is amazing. She always makes a salad every night. When I was raised, she made salad, and always water with my dinner. And I could basically have any snacks or dessert that I wanted but now I have this kind of bizarre obsession with more healthy foods because I’ve been raised to not drink sugary things, and to actually like salad and vegetables and all that.
JJ: Is there a dressing on the salad?
ZD: Yeah, it’s a balsamic vinaigrette with extra light virgin olive oil, garlic, salt.
JJ: Which three living people, that you haven’t met yet, would you want to go to the movies with?
JJ: Do you have a favorite game, board game, or video game?
ZD: I used to love The Sims, but I had to let it go because it was distracting me from my real life, from creating and developing real relationships, which didn’t even matter to me at that point because Sims were more important.
JJ: Did you ever cheat on The Sims?
ZD: Yeah, a rosebud.
JJ: Did you make your Sims have sex?
ZD: Yeah! That was the point of it.
JJ: What’s your favorite word?
ZD: Moist. I’m kidding!!! (laughs) Oh wow, I use it all the time and it’s really bad because I’m obsessed with it, I used it actually to describe Cameron. Mercurial, I use it all the time.
JJ: What is your least favorite word?
JJ: Favorite flavor?
ZD: Of what?
JJ: Of life.
ZD: (laughs) Fabulousness. How’s that? You didn’t give me any specifics.
JJ: I’m surprised you haven’t answered “lockjaw” to any of these questions.
ZD: How do you know about lockjaw?!
JJ: It’s on your Instagram, the whole world knows! It’s no secret.
ZD: Lockjaw. Hahaha yes, that was a joke. My sister and I were doing interview questions and she took my phone and sent it. She sent it! All the answers were like, “What do you want to change about the world?” Lockjaw.
PHOTO SHOOT CREDITS (PICTURES BELOW) —–
Photo 1: Lorena Sarbu
Photo 2: Burberry
Photos 3 and 7: Dolce&Gabbana
Photo 4: Burberry
Photos 5 and 6: Lorena Sarbu
Producer: Jared Eng (@JaredEng)
Photogrpaher: Justin Campbell (@JustJustinNYC)
Stylist: Avo Yermagyan (@AvoYermagyan)
Makeup: Desirae Cherman (@desiraecherman)
Hair: Jesse German (@JesseGerman)
Nails: Whitney Gibson (WhitneyGibsonNails.com)
Talent: Zoey Deutch (@ZoeyDeutch)