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SCAD Savannah Film Fest honors Rising Star Zoey Deutch

  • Zoey Deutch
  • Madelyn Deutch, left, and Zoey Deutch in "The Year of Spectacular Men," screening at 11 a.m. Oct. 28 during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Madelyn wrote the story, Zoey was a producer and their mother, Lea Thompson, directed and also stars in the film.
  • Zoey Deutch stars in "Flower," screening at 10 p.m. Oct. 28 at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.
 

SCAD Savannah Film Fest honors Rising Star Zoey Deutch

25 Oct 2017

If you think Zoey Deutch is as charming in real life as she is on the big screen, you’re right.

The 22-year-old actress has been steadily building on her body of work with dynamic roles alongside notable actors and filmmakers, earning the title of Rising Star at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

The actress starred in the 2016 film “Dirty Grandpa,” which was partly filmed on Tybee Island. Her latest projects include Max Winkler’s “Flower” and “The Year of Spectacular Men,” produced by Deutch, written by her sister Madelyn Deutch and directed by their mother Lea Thompson, and starring all three.

Deutch will receive her award before the screening of “Flower” at 10 p.m. Oct. 28 and will offer a Q&A after the film. “The Year of Spectacular Men” will screen at 11 a.m. Oct. 28. Do caught up with the actress ahead of her trip to Savannah.

Do: Congratulations on winning a Rising Star Award. How does it feel?

Deutch: I’m honestly very honored to receive this award. Savannah College of Art and Design is a very prestigious university and I know they are also celebrating 20 years. I’m really proud to be a part of that achievement.

Do: You’ve previously spent some time in Savannah. How was your experience in the Hostess City?

Deutch: I’ve been to Savannah once before when I was shooting in Tybee Island [for the film “Dirty Grandpa”]. It was just sad that I could only be there for one day because Savannah is just so extraordinarily beautiful and rich with culture. I’m honored to receive this amazing honor and I’m excited to go tour Savannah.

Do: Do you have any favorite places?

Deutch: It’s funny. I was with Aubrey Plaza and her back was hurting while we were in Savannah. So we found this awesome place to get massages. I don’t remember the name, but it was 100 percent haunted and it was an awesome experience to get a massage while there was — no question — a ghost in the room.

But it was a very quick trip and it was so much fun … My No. 1 thing in life is to find the best food everywhere I go. Whenever I ask, “Where’s the best food in Savannah?” the answer is “Everywhere in Savannah.”

Do: “The Year of Spectacular Men” is a relatable film for people in their 20s. What would you want viewers to take away from this film?

Deutch: It’s an interesting experience to film a movie that your sister wrote, starred in and wrote the music for. It is pretty extraordinary for my mother to direct it and for me to produce it. So the whole experience was about as grassroots and personal as it gets as far as anything that I’ve ever done.

In terms of relatability, it really speaks to the 20-something millennial life of a young woman. What I take away from this movie is the importance of sisterhood. But to show people the film and see what they take away from it — that’s the fun about making movies. It’s getting to ask people, “How do you relate to it?” Because you never know what people are going to say.

Do: This film was definitely a family affair with your parents and sister involved on the project. What was it like working with family?

Deutch: It was extremely rewarding. Challenging at times, yes, but rewarding. We are all very close. And to be able to create something meaningful together and to be a support system for one another was really special.

Do: Your mom went from the boss at home to boss on set. What did you learn about your mom as a director?

Deutch: She’s a bad-ass director and a bad-ass mother. It’s funny. We were at a film fest in Minneapolis where my mother is from. Her childhood friends came up to her and said, “Leah, you’ve never been particularly bossy. I’ve always thought the mindset of directors to be bossy. You must be one great director.” And we just laughed.

My mother is just a sympathetic, kind person and that was never challenged while we were shooting. She was always thoughtful and kind to every single person on set. It was a joy to work with her.

Do: This year is also a big year for women in film. What’s it like working with the important women in your life?

Deutch: It’s been really fun for me able to get work with my sister. She has really always been my role model. The fact that she created something from nothing is amazing. She wrote a screenplay that is loosely based off her life and made it. It’s really easy to look something and go “I can do that.” But a lot of people don’t. She took nothing and made it something. It’s exciting for me to have been able to work with my role model.

Do: So is it safe to say that you will film another movie with your mom and sister again?

Deutch: Yes, I would. Absolutely. I’m also excited to premiere the film in Savannah because [SCAD founder and president] Paula Wallace has been such an amazing leader in the film industry. Women are awesome.

Do: Do you have any advice for your younger self?

Deutch: Don’t let your flaws define you. I think there were times in high school when I thought that my flaws were what made me who I was. It’s about growth and change and becoming the best you that you can be.

Do: What’s next for you?

Deutch: I also have a film called “Flower,” which is also being screened at the festival. I have two movies that I’m proud of and that I am excited to show Savannah.

Do: Do you have any advice for those entering the industry?

Deutch: I think it’s true that hard work does pay off. And it’s important to remind yourself that you can’t let people tell you that your stuff doesn’t work or isn’t good. That’s a big thing. Don’t let people discourage you, and keep working hard.

ABOUT THE FEST
See the full festival schedule and get tickets at filmfest.scad.edu.

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