We chatted with Madelyn Deutch about her new film, why she loved having her mom direct her, and what advice she'd give future filmmakers.
Growing up with Hollywood veterans might put stress on some people, but not Madelyn Deutch. When she embarked on writing and starring in her first feature film, The Year of Spectacular Men, she made it a family affair. Her mother, actress Lea Thompson, directed the film, her sister Zoey Deutch co-starred in it, and her father Howard Deutch produced the picture. This millennial-focused film, set to premiere on June 16 at the LA Film Festival, touches on life and self-discovery after college.
Let’s talk about your film, The Year of Spectacular Men. You wrote it and starred in it. Your mom directed it, your sister co-starred, and your dad produced it. What’s the dynamic like working with your entire family on a film? MADELYN DEUTCH: (laughs) It was so much fun. You can get away with certain things and then not with others.
What was it like having your mom as the director and telling you what to do? MD: For starters, we get along really well. We function like collaborators, partners, co-workers. In the hard moments, I would just think to myself, ok, if I can get through this, I can work with anyone. Because it’s my mom, it’s personal. But the good moments, which were the majority of the moments, I would think, oh my god, how will I ever work with anybody else.
Tell me a little about the film and your character, Izzie. MD: Izzie, I like to say that she has a bad taste of post-college, pre-real world millennial-itis. It’s like a disease that can’t be cured unless you try to grow up. She sort of encapsulates this condition that I saw in myself, and in so many other men and women in my life, when I got out of college.
And she has romances with a couple of boys? MD: She gets out of college and she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. And over the course of a year, she dates five different guys. She tries to sort of find herself through the dating world and through these other guys. I think we all hope we can see ourselves more clearly through another person but it doesn't always happen.
What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring independent filmmaker? MD: Surround yourself with really good partners and people who you trust because there’s going to be so many bad moments and moments where they feel like they’re falling apart. You just want to have someone you feel like you’re in the trenches with. You don’t want to feel alone.
Is there directing in your future? MD: I’m supposed to direct a music video coming up for this girl, Jarina DeMarco, who’s an incredible pop artist. She had a bunch of music on Broad City last season. She’s blowing up.