Lea Thompson: The Truth About Zoey Deutch's Famous Mom

From Zombieland to an Ed Sheeran music video, Zoey Deutch has appeared in a range of roles over the years. Lately, however, her most attention-grabbing projects have been on Netflix. Deutch has been acting for a decade now, but between the instantly popular rom-com Set It Up and Ryan Murphy's satire series The Politician, the actress really found a home on the streaming service.

While her career is just starting to heat up, Deutch's mom has been in the industry for a long, long time. As it turns out, the 25-year-old is the daughter of actress Lea Thompson, who appeared in a very popular '80s trilogy. Thompson also shifted from in front of the camera to behind it, adding "director" to her résumé in 2006. There's plenty to learn about Thompson's career, as well as her strong bond with her family, so let's jump right in.

Lea Thompson starred in the beloved 'Back to the Future' trilogy

While she began acting in 1982, Lea Thompson's career really took off when she played the mom in Back to the Future in '85 — and its two sequels. "This movie is definitely a part of me," Thompson told USA Today in October 2015 in honor of the movie's 30th anniversary. Deeming it an "amazing part," she said, "I am really happy to be known mostly around the world as Lorraine McFly."

Thompson also appreciates the reputation it's given her, explaining, "Whatever I've done that hasn't been great, people could always go, 'She was really good in Back to the Future. She must be a really good actor.' So it has protected me from some of the bad work I've done. It's hard to survive in Hollywood as a woman."

Although her movie Howard the Duck was considered a flop, she's had other successful roles in projects like Some Kind of Wonderful and Freeform's Switched at Birth. Shifting gears a bit, she's also worked as a director on a few projects, including the upcoming Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene and a movie starring two people especially close to her heart — her daughters.

Zoey Deutch & her mom worked on a movie together

The Year of Spectacular Men was directed by Lea Thompson and written by her daughter Madelyn Deutch. Madelyn stars in the movie alongside her mom and sister, Zoey Deutch –talk about a family that can do it all! In an interview with Metro in June 2018, Thompson said, "We were just inspired to do something on our own. We have always been a working family. We cook together, sew together, so it felt naturally to work together in this capacity."

The trio spoke to Entertainment Tonight that same month and Thompson told her girls, "I feel like I haven't taken myself as seriously as I should have for my career. I'm proud of you guys and the way you take yourself so seriously. You know, we joke a lot but you guys have really taught me a lot." 

As for what it was like working with her mom, Zoey told ET, "As a human being, I don't think people like when their mother is right all the time... And it was difficult, because you were always right and you did understand me... So, I think it mostly was just challenging because I wanted to scream at you, but I couldn't." Of course, she probably was joking a little and they clearly found their rhythm in the end.

Lea Thompson's husband is a famous director

Lea Thompson doesn't just have famous daughters — her husband is well-known in Hollywood, too. Thompson and Howard Deutch met on the set of John Hughes' 1987 movie Some Kind of Wonderful, which Deutch directed. When reflecting on their time on set, he told Salon in 2017, "I had a crush on her that all of my friends teased me about. But there's also something grounded and relatable about her on screen." 

In that same interview, Thompson recalled being engaged to Dennis Quaid at the time. "Nothing happened during the movie. I knew he had a crush on me but it took time to play out." She described Howard as "very exotic, a different status, like a man, not a half-man" to Salon. Shortly after the movie wrapped, the pair got married in 1989.

In addition to Some Kind of Wonderful, Deutch directed another Hughes '80s hit, Pretty in Pink. And when Thompson starred in the '90s show Caroline in the City, Howard directed a few episodes of that as well, per IMDb.

Zoey Deutch & Lea Thompson's mother-daughter bond is strong

Growing up with famous parents may intimidate some people, but Zoey Deutch's have totally inspired her. She told Net-a-Porter in October 2019, "My parents valued a great sense of humor over a lot of other things that young girls are taught to value. The compliments were not 'you're pretty,' but 'you made me laugh.' The positive reinforcement shaped me." She also told the magazine, "My first steps were taken on a movie set. My first word was 'lipstick,' in my mom's makeup trailer. It was 100 percent my deepest desire [to perform]."

Thompson couldn't be more proud of her daughter, either. In a November 2019 Instagram for Deutch's birthday, she wrote, "I am inspired by your kindness your fierceness and your funny take on everything. I am endlessly grateful for our journey together." While fans may be initially surprised to find out Deutch's famous roots, it makes all the sense in the world that she's the offspring of two major Hollywood talents.