Get ready for Zoey 101.
With a hit Netflix series, a new blockbuster sequel and some of the best red carpet outings recently, it’s official: Zoey Deutch has become the coolest girl in Hollywood. And that title has been a long time coming for the 24-year-old, whose look-a-like mom is Back to the Future star Lea Thompson and acclaimed director Howard Deutch.
After a few attempts at breaking out with roles in movie adaptations of major young adult novels (Before I Fall and Vampire Academy) earlier in her career that ultimately proved unable to ride the wave started by Twilight and The Hunger Games, Zoey finally broke out in a little movie no one saw coming: Set It Up, which quietly debuted on Netflix in 2018 before going on to become a full-blown Internet obsession and the sleeper hit of the summer, thanks in large part to the chemistry between Zoey and Glen Powell.
Zoey is 100 percent aware of the endless “It Girl” baton-passing in young Hollywood, telling Cosmpolitan, “I think they should stop doing It Girl lists and start doing Staying Here Girl lists.”
Judging from her jampacked schedule lately, it’s clear she’s a Staying Here Girl.
Ironically enough, Zoey wasn’t the initial female lead of Set It Up, which was initially set to be released in theaters with Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke as its star. But when dragon duty prevented Emilia from doing the movie, it was shelved…that is until Netflix came along and expressed interest in the modern rom-com.
But the filmmakers weren’t convinced Zoey was there girl for the role of Harper, mostly because of her age.
“My biggest concern, and I was very open about this, was the character was originally written as a 28 year old and she was 22 [at the time],” director Claire Scanlon explained to E! News, adding she didn’t want to “sacrifice the legitimacy and the authenticity” of the character.
Ultimately, the chemistry between Zoey and Glen, who had worked together on 2017’s Everybody Wants Some!, proved too irresistible, and the character’s age was changed to 25. And it proved to be the right call, with many comparing the duo to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, an iconic rom-dom duo, and battle cries demanding a sequel.
And Netflix watchers are getting it…sort of. The streaming giant announced in May 2019 that the actors are reuniting with their Set It Up producer and writer Katie Silberman for a new rom-com. So same but different.
“It will be exciting to see Glen and Zoey do something completely different,” producer Juliet Berman said in a statement provided to THR of the Most Dangerous Game, which will start production in 2020.
Still, that’s not only Zoey’s team-up with Netflix, as she filmed a video diary series about climate change for them during her trip to east Africa called Our Planet and starred in their latest hit The Politician, which was created by Glee and American Horror Story‘s Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Her character, Infinity, has become one of the bingeable series’ breakout characters, thanks to the obvious comparisons to Gypsy Rose Blanchard, and her chemistry with both Jessica Lange and Ben Platt.
Speaking of Ben, The Politician‘s press tour has proven that he and Zoey are friendships goals, with the duo often coordinating their looks for appearances, including their headline-making joint interview with James Corden, with the late-night host describing them as “a burgundy dream.”
They sang. They laughed. They nerded out over Harry Potter. They charmed the hell out of us.
Aside from generating viral memes in The Politician and giving us friendship FOMO, Zoey is also stealing scenes in in the long-awaited Zombieland sequel, starring opposite Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin.
Like we said: she’s having A Moment, one even her co-stars are noticing.
“You know, I’ve worked with a lot of great actresses even before they became really well-known,” Woody Harrelson told Cosmo. “I knew with Brie Larson and with Emma Stone and with Jen Lawrence—I knew that these gals were going places. And I can tell you with the same surety that Zoey Deutch will be a force to be reckoned with. No question.”
And just like her red carpet game for The Politician, her looks while promoting Zombieland have been fresh, unexpected and glam, making her one of the newest style stars to watch.
Working with celebrity stylist Elizabeth Stewart, who also dresses Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain Zoey’s looks have ranged from young and quirky to sleek and sophisticated, with the styling always feeling organic and natural; she’s always wearing the clothes, not the other way around.
Zoey’s also been rocking the hell out of her chic bob, which came courtesy of celeb hairstylist Gregory Russell, who seems just as enamored with the star as we are.
“Been cry-laughing all day with the wildly beautiful teeny baby angel,” he captioned a photo of Zoey on his Instagram.
Let’s also quickly talk about Zoey’s Instagram game, with the star sharing daily quality content on the platform, especially through her photos.
But she’s also been real about her complicated relationship with social media.
“I’m not so good with words, so I don’t vomit all my words out there, but I do take a lot of photos, and I do vomit those out there. It’s always transparent with me that whenever I’m feeling particularly sh–ty about myself, I post a vain, over-indulgent photo of myself,” she told The Independent. “It’s immediate validation from strangers. It’s SO disgusting. I feel like garbage, and like clockwork…but the first step to recovery is like, admitting you have a problem. I think more than anything, what’s important is that people stop being so hard on themselves. The way that I talk about myself is not how I would ever talk to somebody I love.”
She’s been open about her struggles with anxiety and her journey to ultimately viewing it as her “superpower.”
“I came into this world with anxiety. I used to hold my breath from anxiety when I was a baby and it would make me faint,” she revealed to Cosmopolitan. “There are times when it’s debilitating, and there are times when it makes me laugh, like in the car today when I lost the plot entirely. But I actually feel like my superpower is my anxiety. It’s one of my key motivators and it’s at the center of my ambition.”
The Politician is not streaming on Netflix, and Zombieland 2: Double Tap is currently in theaters.
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