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Zooey Deschanel Doesn't Know How Nepotism Works

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | April 2, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | April 2, 2024 |


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Getting an audition for anything that pays is hard. Actors will line up around the block in the early hours of the morning for a chance to be seen, and that might not happen. If they get to read a scene or perform a monologue in front of casting agents, it could be after waiting outside for hours, affecting their performance. Then they’ll likely have to go right from the audition to the bad-paying job they need to keep because of the ridiculousness of auditions.

Imagine a world where getting in a room to audition is easier. It’s a world where young actors not only don’t have to stand in line to audition, they have appointments. They get to the audition room and are well-rested because they weren’t up late waiting tables the night before. Then, they get in the room and are on a first-name basis with the casting agent because they were at their family’s last Christmas party because their dad has been nominated for six Oscars. That’s nepotism.

The people who benefit from nepotism have a hard time identifying it. Not all of them, but most. Their lack of awareness has brought Nepo Baby into the public lexicon. They don’t see it as a feature of their existence because they have spent their lives with easier access to the Hollywood world. To quote a recent Please Don’t Destroy sketch, nepotism is “a foot in the door and so much more.” You can add Zooey Deschanel to the growing list of celebrities who don’t understand that.

The New Girl actress recently appeared on The School of Greatness podcast. When the topic of nepotism came up, she put her foot firmly into her mouth. “It’s funny because people will be like, ‘Oh, nepotism’, I’m like, no. My dad’s a DP [director of photography]. No one’s getting jobs because their dad’s a DP. It’s definitely not,” Deschanel said, ignoring that her dad, Caleb Deschanel, has been nominated for six Oscars. Her statement also undervalues the importance of a DP and their ability to … know other people in the industry.

A Director Of Photography is important. Without them, your favorite movies wouldn’t look as beautiful as they do. Also, they work a lot. Deschanel’s dad has shot films for Hal Ashby, William Friedkin, Richard Donner, Mel Gibson, and Barry Levinson. Those names only scratch the surface of his four-decade career. To say his connections didn’t help her is insane.

I understand wanting to take credit for your career, and Deschanel has had a successful one, but there must be an acknowledgment of the clear leg-up that she had. Hell, she went to a prep school with Kate Hudson. Then, her second acting role in a film was with Hudson in Almost Famous. Does Deschanel think she would have gone to that prep school and befriended Hudson if her dad wasn’t an incredibly successful DP? Maybe. But not likely.