'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Zoey Deutch ('The Politician' & 'Buffaloed')

A leading lady of the ‘Netflix and chill’ era reflects on her showbiz lineage, helping to revive the rom-com with ‘Set It Up’ and, over the past year, juggling a supporting turn in a Ryan Murphy series with producing and starring in a microbudget indie film.
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Zoey Deutch

"One of the interesting gifts of learning the producorial side is it's just made me a better performer," says Zoey Deutch, the popular young actress-producer, on the latest episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast. Deutch, 25, is best known as one-half of the young couple at the center of Claire Scanlon's 2018 Netflix romantic comedy Set It Up, which helped to revive the genre and make her the face of the 'Netflix and chill' era; the other is Glen Powell, with whom she will reunite in another Katie Silberman-scripted rom-com, The Most Dangerous Game, in 2021. The native Angeleno first tried her hand at producing with The Year of Spectacular Men, a low-budget 2018 indie written by and starring her older sister, Maddie Deutch, and directed by their mother, Lea Thompson (best known for starring in 1985's Back to the Future); she plays a supporting role in the film.

Deutch followed that by championing, from start to finish, another microbudget film, Tanya Wexler's Buffaloed, "a female Wolf of Wall Street" in which she plays a young woman willing to do anything to rise above her humble circumstances and get out of upstate New York. "I just loved the part," Deutch says. The film, which she is proud to note was named a New York Times 'Critic's Pick,' premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival and was released in select theaters on Feb. 14.

Over the past year, the actress also took on a key supporting role opposite Tony winner Ben Platt and two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange in the first season of The Politician, Ryan Murphy's first project under his mega-deal with Netflix. Deutch's parts in Buffaloed and The Politician are both "larger than life characters with weird voices and outfits," she observes with a chuckle.

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LISTEN: You can hear the entire interview below.

Past guests include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Gal Gadot, Warren Beatty, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon, Aaron Sorkin, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Judi Dench, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Justin Timberlake, Elisabeth Moss, RuPaul, Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Fallon, Kris Jenner, Michael Moore, Emilia Clarke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Sally Field, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, J.J. Abrams, Emma Stone, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Dolly Parton, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Carol Burnett and Norman Lear.

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Over the course of our conversation, Deutch discusses how she overcame crippling anxiety and bullying to become an actor; why she is drawn to playing funny hustlers ("I think I would be remiss to not acknowledge that my mom, who's an actress, got a little pigeonholed with being 'America's sweetheart' — beautiful and sweet and loving and sexy and all these things — and so I wanted to go in the complete opposite direction"); and why she regards Max Winkler's 2017 dramedy Flower, which her grandmother refers to as "the blowjob movie," as "the movie I'm most proud of."