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Zooey Deschanel Bio

January 03, 2012

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Zooey Deschanel has made a name for herself by playing offbeat, quirky and sometimes funny but dark characters, and the 31-year-old actress is also making waves as part of the indie music duo She & Him. Find out more in her Kidzworld Bio!

California Cutie

Zooey Deschanel grew up in Los Angeles, California, the daughter Caleb Deschanel, a celebrated cinematographer, and Mary Deschanel, an actress (she starred in a show called Twin Peaks). Her older sister Emily is also an actress, and stars on the crime-lab thriller TV show Bones. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of talent in the Deschanel family, and the sisters were destined to become performers. Zooey went to school with actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson (both of whom she later co-starred in movies with) but originally thought her passion was musical theater.

Almost Famous

Although Zooey attended Northwestern University for one year, she decided to quit school and pursue acting seriously. She garnered good reviews in her first film Mumford, but truly stole the scene in the semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous, where she played the older sister of the lead character. After that roles came pouring in, and she often found herself playing the supporting role of best friend.

"A lot of these roles are just a formula idea of somebody's best friend, and it's like, I don't even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time, so I don't know how I'm everybody's best friend now."

 Zooey received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of an 18-year-old love-struck girl in All the Real Girls. She went on to star in the cult classic book-turned-movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the bittersweet romantic film 500 Days of Summer (alongside another rising star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the kids’ movie Bridge to Terabithia. Critics at outlets like L.A. Times were calling her not only a breath of fresh air because of her quirky role choices and deadpan yet complex portrayals of her characters.

I like characters who are complex, so I follow those role. I love independent cinema. I feel very close to that world because it's about art. And I say no to a lot of work because it looks boring.

She & Him and The New Girl

Not content to let any of her talent go to waste, in the last few years Zooey decided to start singing again and formed a duo with musician/songwriter M.Ward to produce old-fashioned ‘60’s-inpsired love songs. Together their group is called She & Him. Zooey writes songs and sings vocals and Ward plays and orchestrates the rest. They have been received well by critics and fans alike, and Zooey is happy to be able to sing as well as act. Recently Zooey signed on to star in the new sitcom, The New Girl, about an offbeat girl who moves into an apartment with a bunch of dudes (and turns their worlds inside out!).

Have Your Say

What do you think of Zooey Deschanel? Let us know in the comments section below!

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