Zoey Deutch gets the star treatment with ‘Before I Fall’

LOS ANGELES — Zoey Deutch has been going to Art’s Delicatessen since she was 1 week old. Her friends have tried to get her to go to Canter’s, but she refuses to “cheat” on her beloved Studio City haunt.

Which explains why she’s cozied up to Tony — who has been a waiter at Art’s for decades — inside one of the deli’s booths. They are showing each other photos of their dogs. Tony has a West Highland Terrier named Yogi; Deutch has a pit bull named Maybelle.

It’s slightly jarring to see the 22-year-old being so chummy with the waiter after watching “Before I Fall,” her new movie in which she plays a high school mean girl. Based on Lauren Oliver’s 2010 young-adult novel, the film is a kind of “Groundhog Day” for teenagers.

Deutch stars as Samantha, a 17-year-old who seems to have it all: a hot boyfriend, the coolest group of friends and really good hair to boot. One night, after she and her fabulous posse are leaving a party, they get into a car accident that magically freezes Samantha in a time loop, making it so that she wakes up every morning and is forced to relive the same day of high school over and over again. Not surprisingly, the experience leads the protagonist to do serious reflecting about the way she treats people.

In theaters now, “Before I Fall” marks the first lead role for Deutch. Though she’s had prominent supporting parts before in Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!” and opposite James Franco in “Why Him?” this is her first starring vehicle — this is her first movie where the poster features only her face.

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.”