Zoey Deutch wants to break the stigma.
In the new drama Flower, her character Erica — a sexually charged teenage vigilante — is seen as “lacking redeeming qualities,” she explains. But, if it were a man depicted in the flick, the opinion would be different. Insists Deutch, “He’d be titled morally ambiguous.”
In her eyes, the stubborn 17-year-old, who fearlessly tries to exact revenge on an alleged child predator, is a step in the right direction. “This movie is wish fulfillment, what would happen if we strike back at the men in power who abused their position,” the star, 23, says. “I was excited that a movie gets to be made with a central character like this.”
While crafting that character, she was given full creative control by writer-director Max Winkler. “He was so adamant that every fiber of my DNA go into this,” she tells Us. “I put things into my own words, designed Erica’s room and created her backstory with him.”
Which included therapy session. “I was half in character, half myself,” recalls the daughter of Lea Thompson. “I researched borderline personality disorder, which I strongly feel she suffered from. We talked about how Erica always does things on her own terms and never allows anyone any semblance of control. Nothing is spontaneous with her. Everything is a form of manipulation.”
Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Scandals
And though written before the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, the film coincides with their mission statements. “It does capture those feelings of powerlessness that women or kids feel,” Deutch reveals. “Me Too is based on a failure in the justice system, so people took matters into their own hands. This is a reflection of that. These are 17-year-old kids who don’t go about it the right way, but they frickin’ try!”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Flower is in theaters beginning Friday, March 16.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!