“There’s nothing quite like feeling comfortable and secure in what you’re wearing. It does change a mood, especially if you are an actor and your job is to take on the lives of other people,” says Zoey Deutch, who on this day dons a navy blue “power suit” to greet the press in Park City, Utah.
Deutch’s first Sundance Film Festival experience is a double-whammy, with the actress premiering the contemporary drama “Before I Fall” and the period piece “Rebel in the Rye” this week.
“Generally when you are doing movie press, you are holed up in a room and you don’t see sunlight for 13 hours and this is so beautiful,” she said gazing out a picture window at the crowds on snowy Main Street.
“Before I Fall,” which premiered over the weekend and will hit theaters March 3, centers on a teenage girl who finds herself trapped in a nightmarish “Groundhog Day” scenario until she can figure out how to alter her actions for the better.
Because Deutch plays the queen bee among a pack of “Mean Girls”-type friends, one might mistake it for young adult fluff, but the stylish lensing and more serious themes differentiate it from the norm. She did, however, have to stick to a $25 indie wardrobe budget, so Deutch sourced her own costumes by calling friends at Tory Burch for the dress she wears to school on that fateful day.
“People say we are lacking in strong female characters, but in my experience, we are lacking complicated, interesting and real female characters,” she observes. “Sam is a girl who on the outside is a bully, then you look at her life and realize she is bullied. Those lines in life are so much more blurred than hero or villain.”
Her other film explores the life of a young J.D. Salinger, and she currently stars in the studio comedy “Why Him?” with Bryan Cranston and James Franco. Up next, she has roles in “Flower” and “Year of Spectacular Men.”
Deutch knows she’s been lucky, and is quick to point out, “Every good part is a gift because they can be rare.”