The Lowdown: Things You Never Knew About Zooey Deschanel

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

We all know her from somewhere.

LA-born Zooey Deschanel has been (quietly) dazzling us on screen for the best part of a decade.

Since making her film debut in 1998’s Veronica’s Closet, she’s opted for more obscure productions, later taking roles in Almost Famous, Elf and guesting in ganja drama Weeds.

This year she has her first major lead in the superb (500) Days of Summer opposite old pal Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and is rumoured to be appearing with sister Emily in Bones.

We all love her with her blue doe eyes and effortless grace, but she remains something of an enigma. OTB set off to discover what she’s all about. Just don’t mention the Katy Perry comparisons.

1. Acting is just a day job for Zooey. She plays the piano, banjo and ukulele, appearing in jazz cabaret act If All The Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow thesp Samantha Shelton. Her first album with band She & Him, named Volume One, came out last year.

2. Deschanel is named after the male character in J.D. Salinger novella Franny and Zooey.

3. She went to the private preparatory school Crossroads with Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson. Deschanel later appeared alongside Gyllenhaal in 2002’s The Good Girl.

4. She appeared in the Offspring video “She’s Got Issues?.

5. Last December she got engaged to Death Cab for Cutie lead Benjamin Gibbard.

6. She trained for four months to sing in the style of Janis Joplin in preparation of playing her in a biopic about the singer, before the project was shelved in 2007.

7. She appeared on US culinary competition show Top Chef, on which the contestants had to rustle her up some dairy-, soy-, gluten-free fare for her vegan diet.

8. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert noted that two critics proposed marriage to her character of Allison in Yes Man.

9. On her iPod? Beach Boys, Nina Simone, and legendary country singer Skeeter Davis.

10. She penned and performed a little ditty about fabric for a cotton commercial in the US. Don’t believe us? Click here

Leonie Mercedes

Click here for another taste of Deschanel’s musical credentials with the She & Him video, directed by (500) Days helm Marc Webb… and check out our (500) Days of Summer review