Q&A: Zooey Deschanel of '(500) Days of Summer'

You’ve become quite a style icon. Who is your favorite designer? And how would you describe your style?

I love clothes, but the fashion world is something I find kind of frightening in many ways. Because it’s so fun to dress up and it’s so fun to make yourself look nice. And sometimes when people take it too seriously, I get a little bit scared. I love [designer] Erin Fetherston. She’s one of my favorite designers.

Who are your style icons?

I always really liked Diane Keaton because she’s like totally herself. And you see a person like that — who wasn’t looking to anyone else but [told herself] I want to wear menswear or I want to wear this really long peasant skirt to the Oscars. It’s like somebody just completely expressing themselves. That’s what I want to project.

Your character in this film was complex. How did you decide to approach her?

One of the things that’s interesting about our generation is that it’s a generation that’s coming after ... the 1960s, where women’s lib, all that stuff was happening. Then we come and everyone’s liberated but confused about a lot of different things.

I think there’s a lot of polarization of points of view. People are either very cynical or overly romantic about love and I think that they’ll swing the pendulum. People are just extreme in their points of view. ...

I think that it’s sort of a new thing. You have more freedom. And we don’t have to get married. We don’t have to do a lot of things. But then what role is love playing in society and, for our generation? That is the question that a lot of people are asking. So I think both of these characters are representative of those points of view. The fact that they vacillate is a reflection of the fact that it is a very intense point of view.

In this film, it’s the guy looking for love rather than more traditional, “Sex and the City” approach to love with the woman looking for Mister Right. Was that a modern approach? Or a realistic approach?

It’s not about gender. It’s about people.

What do you think of the comparisons people make between you and pop singer Katy Perry?

I don’t really have an opinion on it. I think we both have [long pause] hair.

What sort of music do you like?

I like old music. I like the Beach Boys.

What’s going on with your band She and Him?

I’m not touring. We’re playing a show in Chapel Hill, N.C., in July. But that’s our only show this year. We’re working on our next record.