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Actress Zoey Deutch on fashion: ‘I just want to feel powerful and beautiful’

Zoey Deutch, wearing Max Mara, is the recipient of this year’s Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award. Though a fashionable new face, she is also a major fan of thrift stores. (Max Mara)

As an Italian fashion brand that has been around since the early 1950s, Max Mara is known for its perennially stylish offerings of sophisticated, enduring pieces.

But the label is also remarkably adept at picking its yearly ambassadors. Its previous Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award selections, chosen with entertainment advocacy organization Women in Film, have been Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld, Zoe Saldana and Kate Mara, all of whom are in the midst of strong careers.

The latest recipient, Zoey Deutch, 22, most recently seen in “Why Him?” and “Before I Fall,” would appear to be no different.

“Our criteria has always been to choose a young woman of talent who has the future in front of her,” said Nicola Maramotti, Max Mara brand ambassador and European retail director of development. “She’s always been a woman of style and elegance. Zoey is full of energy and idealism.”

Deutch was the center of attention at a Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future cocktail party earlier this month at the Chateau Marmont, where guests included Jon Hamm, Molly Sims and Bellamy Young, and where Deutch’s slender, scarlet velvet Max Mara pantsuit and bralette made her “feel powerful and confident,” she said.

It was a far cry from her ensemble earlier that day while doing press at Sunset Tower Hotel, where she wore scuffed Converse sneakers, faded jeans and an oversize coat — all thrift store finds that fit in with Deutch’s self-described “granny chic” leanings. We chatted with Deutch about being the Face of the Future, shopping and handling Hollywood’s pressures, among other topics.

It seems early in my career to earn an award like this. But to me, it’s about looking ahead and potential. It’s about what’s to come, and that feels like an encouragement.

The award is typically given to an actress on the cusp of a major career moment. What was your turning point?

I’ve been working consistently for years, but everything is coming out at the same time. I come from a family of women in film. My sister [Madelyn Deutch] is a writer and actor. My mother [Lea Thompson] is a director and actor. I feel now that I’m being included in another family of women in film, where women can be encouraged and celebrated. It dawned on me that the last three movies I’ve been in have been written and directed by women. I’m currently shooting a film that has a female writer, producer, director, editor and production designer. I didn’t necessarily seek that out. They were just the best projects and the best people.

How much of a fashion fan are you?

Ultimately, I just want to feel powerful and beautiful. The right outfit feels like a suit of armor. It makes you walk differently and hold your head up high. That’s a real gift. But the thing about following trends is that you’ll look back later and say, “That wasn’t me.” Just follow what makes you comfortable and happy.

The future is now: Deutch, honored with Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award, with her mother, Lea Thompson, both in Max Mara, at Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards at the Beverly Hilton on June 13. (Rachel Murray / Getty Images)

My motto is: Work hard, stay humble, be nice to people. I’m excited when people want to take pictures with me.

Did you pick up style tips from your mother?

Everyone in my family is big on thrift-store hunting. I have family in Montana, and we go to thrift stores there. They’re the best to rummage through because people don’t know the gold that’s hidden there. And I love fashion with a sense of humor. I love going to [Los Angeles boutique] Opening Ceremony to explore these new designers who are having fun. I like to walk in there and see how people’s brains are working.

My motto is: Work hard, stay humble, be nice to people. I’m excited when people want to take pictures with me. I think about the people I’ve walked up to to ask for a picture and how nice they’ve been. I once asked Will Ferrell for an autograph, and he made me laugh, which is exactly what I wanted from that exchange.

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