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California Questionnaire: Zoey Deutch

The up-and-coming actress loves life in the Valley, road trips up the coast, and old-school deli food

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For Zoey Deutch, movies are the family business. Her mom, Lea Thompson, starred in Back to the Future, and her dad, Howard Deutch, directed Pretty in Pink. But plenty of kids grow up in California with parents who work in the entertainment industry; not many of them manage to carve out a career like that of Deutch, who, at just 23 years old, has already graduated from the Disney Channel to starring in films like Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, the James Franco comedy Why Him? and the Sundance hit Before I Fall. She’s also made a name for herself as an activist, working with Water.org and other charitable organizations.

But with her latest movie, Flower, directed by another Hollywood scion—Max Winkler, son of “The Fonz,” Henry Winkler—Deutch has returned to a subject that she knows well: being a teenager in the Valley. In this case, it’s the San Fernando Valley, where Deutch’s Erica and her friends become amateur vigilantes amid the familiar trappings of high school. A proud lifelong Californian, Deutch shares her favorite parts of the state with us.

Where do you live? The Valley in Los Angeles.

Why there? I grew up here, love it here, can’t ever see myself leaving here. Die-hard Valley Girl!

Who or what is your greatest California love? Art’s Deli! Matzo ball soup, half pastrami, pickles, Caesar salad, egg cream, and latkes. Dream meal.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That we solely exist in a vain and self-absorbed world. Call me biased, but I think Californians are generally really cool, hard-working, interesting humans…who really don’t know how to drive in the rain.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? See above, hahaha. That we do not know how to drive in the rain. And that all we do is talk about the 101, 405, and how much traffic we are always in.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? The Madonna Inn! Or Big Sur. Or Joshua Tree National Park. It’s too hard to choose one. I love California.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? I’m Los Angeles-partial. And damn, this is hard. Jon & Vinny’s, Sushi Katsu-ya Studio City, Madeo. I can’t choose. A dish from each place, possibly?

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