zoey deutch
Annie Tritt for Variety

The daughter of Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch, Zoey Deutch dove into acting at age 15 with Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck.” After roles in CW’s “Ringer” and 2014’s “Vampire Academy,” the 21-year-old will cross party paths with Robert De Niro in “Dirty Grandpa” (Jan. 22), show her baseball skills in Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some” (April 15) and is collaborating on “The Year of Spectacular Men” with another special director: her mom.

What do you love about “Dirty Grandpa”?

I shot it, so you’d think I’d have some concept of how raunchy and funny it is. But the movie just keeps surprising you in terms of how crazy it is.

Who do you play?

I’m an environmentally-conscious college student in Miami, who takes a spring break trip to Daytona Beach with her best friends — where they run into Jason (Zac Efron). And then insanity ensues.

Have you taken similar spring break trips?

No! I feel like I experience things people might say I’m missing out on onscreen. Like, I didn’t have a real graduation, but I did it in a movie; I didn’t have a real spring break trip, but I did it in this.

What was it like working with Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron?

Robert is hilarious, and he’s kind, and amazing. And Zace is just the most charming creature on earth. He really is just like 129% charm. And you’re like, ‘come on, I’ll crack that charm code!’ He’s really respectful, and he cares so much, and he understands the responsibility that comes along with being the lead of a movie.

What’s your role in “Everybody Wants Some”?

Beverly is a first-year student in college, and she’s a juxtaposition between the life she’s about to lead with a baseball player, and being very politically involved and passionate about the arts.

What was your experience like with Richard Linklater?

The joy and excitement Richard has every day at work is beautiful! He brings together people who share a common love, and appreciation, and deep desire to do something special. And no one at work is every complaining; everyone’s just like in heaven to be together and to be doing something that we’re all so proud of, and that really stems down from him.

How is it working with your mom on “The Year of Spectacular Men”?

I love for the director I’m working with to always be right; that’s ideal, and I hate it when my mom is always right, because it’s frustrating. And in this instance, the director — my mom — was always right, so it felt both ideal and frustrating, simultaneously.

What project are you most proud of?
I’m not quite sure, but it’s been a weird experience, the past year. Like I loved acting two years ago, but in the past year, I feel like I’ve fallen in love.

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