Deutch is well acquainted with the realities of Hollywood thanks to her parents, Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch, who have been working in the business since she was born. Her mother is an actress best known for her roles in the “Back to the Future” films and the NBC sitcom “Caroline in the City”; her father is a director (“Pretty in Pink,” “Some Kind of Wonderful”).
“I have a lot of friends with famous parents who, when they’re doing press, have their publicists say it’s off limits to talk about their parents,” she says. “That never even crossed my mind. First of all, I’m too much of a loose cannon to try to censor myself. But I’m also not ashamed of them. I’m proud of them. I’m lucky to have parents that support and love and encourage me, and I have zero say in that privilege. That’s luck. But me being in ‘Before I Fall’ is working hard. I have no complex about that.”
Deutch says she aspires to have a career like Sandra Bullock’s — to be the kind of actress you don’t immediately associate with either drama or comedy. She’d also like to go to college and is paying tutors to help her learn about political science. At Sundance, she took part in the women’s march and is vocal about her support of Planned Parenthood on social media.
“Look,” she says, lifting up her sweatshirt to reveal a T-shirt that says a woman’s womb is “more controlled” than guns. “Before I was an actor, I was a human and a citizen. People have told me to stop posting that stuff. But people also told me to tweeze my eyebrows.”
She takes out the designer purse she’d inherited from her mother and starts to dig through it, searching for her credit card.
“Also, what is wrong with me?” she says, holding up a ragged plastic sandwich baggie containing her money. “I can’t afford a wallet, apparently. I also have, like, a lollipop and a shirt in here.”
After she sorts her things, she looks out the window across the street. There’s a building with gleaming, golden onion domes, which might seem out of place alongside the Urban Outfitters and California Pizza Kitchen on Ventura Boulevard.
“I’ve never seen anyone go in there once in my life,” she says. “Maybe it’s a klerb.” (That’s “club,” for all of us older than 22.)
“Would you like to go?” she asks. “I want to do, like, an undercover mission. Investigative journalism! Let’s go find what’s going on over there.”
A few minutes later, she’s standing below a sign that reads “Romanov.” Later, a quick Google search would reveal that Romanov is a Russian restaurant that boasts “an environment that is reminiscent of the Tsar’s Winter Palace.” But Deutch is unaware of this information at 5 p.m. on this Thursday, when she takes an elevator up to the space and finds a lone server wiping down tables.
“Hello?” the actress inquires. “Is this a restaurant?”
“Um, yeah?” the employee responds.
“OK!” Deutch said. “I’m leaving now!”
She returns to the elevator, a giddy smile overtaking her face. “Well, now I know.”