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Zooey Deschanel denies nepotism, says ‘no one gave her job’ because of six-time Oscar nominee dad

Zooey Deschanel denies nepotism, says ‘no one gave her job’ because of six-time Oscar nominee dad

Zooey Deschanel has denied that her six-time Oscar nominee father and actor mother made it easier for her to enter the film and TV industry.

The New Girl star has been branded a “nepo baby” in recent times – a term referring to beneficiaries of “nepotism” and given to celebrities with family connections allowing them exclusive access to rare opportunities.

Deschanel’s father is Caleb Deschanel, a cinematographer who has worked on movies including The Lion King, The Patriot, My Sister’s Keeper and The Passion of Christ. He also has credits on other classics including The Godfather and Titanic.

He has been nominated for best cinematography at the Academy Awards six times for his work on The Right Stuff, The Natural, Fly Away Home, The Patriot, The Passion of the Christ, and Never Look Away.

Meanwhile, the Elf star’s mother is Twin Peaks actor Mary Jo Deschanel (formerly Weir), and her sister is Bones and Spider-Man 2 star Emily Deschanel.

She denied that her family made it easier for her to become an actor, in an interview with Lewis Howes on The School of Greatness podcast.

“It’s funny because people be like, ‘Oh, nepotism’, I’m like no. My dad’s a DP [director of photography, another term for cinematographer]. No one’s getting jobs because their dad’s a DP. It’s definitely not.”

However, she acknowledged that she received some “creative” help.

Zooey Deschanel denies she is a ‘nepo baby’ (AFP via Getty Images)
Zooey Deschanel denies she is a ‘nepo baby’ (AFP via Getty Images)

“My mum is an actor and my dad is a cinematographer and a director. I can’t possibly emphasise enough how much creative help I had from my family unit.

“My dad is a great creative mind and such a talented person. My mum is a great actor and is so nurturing. My mum would coach me when I didn’t have an acting coach, she would help me, read lines with me. She’d be so supportive.

“I would have so many great discussions about film and filmmaking with my dad. They both would help me. My dad would also read lines with me and give direction. Then having a sister whose an actor.

“It just makes you automatically have a community, and how much our communities help us – whether its our families or our found communities.”

Deschanel wil play a supporting role in upcoming movie, Harold and the Purple Crayon. The movie follows a kid called Harold, played by Chuck actor Zachary Levi, as he uses his purple crayon to leave the pages of his book and enter the real world. It is scheduled to be released in August this year.