Zooey Deschanel Rejects Notion She's a 'Nepo Baby' Despite Having Oscar-Nominated Father

Deschanel's dad worked on films like 'The Right Stuff,' 'The Passion of the Christ,' and more.

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Zooey Deschanel isn't giving into the notion that she benefited from nepotism, despite having parents who worked behind the scenes in Hollywood.

The actress was recently a guest on an episode of Lewis Howes' podcast The School of Greatness, where around the 29:45-minute mark of the video below, she discussed the early support she received from her family.

For background, Deschanel's father is cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a six-time Academy Award nominee who's worked on films like The Right Stuff, The Passion of the Christ, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and The Lion King remake, while having additional credits on The Godfather, Titanic, Gangster Squad and more. Deschanel's mother is Mary Jo Deschanel, an actress. The couple married in 1972.

“I can't possibly emphasize enough how much creative help I had my family unit," Dechanel told Howes. "It’s funny because people 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."

She continued, "My dad is a great creative mind and such a talented person. So incredible, like, knows everything about film. My mom is a great actor and is so nurturing. My mom would coach me when I didn’t have an acting coach, she would help me, read lines with me. She’d be so supportive."

Deschanel added that she had "so many great discussions about film and filmmaking with my dad." She then expanded on how the rest of her family helped foster her creative spirit. "My dad would also read lines with me and give direction," she explained. "Then having a sister who's an actor–It just makes you automatically have a community, and how much our communities help us– whether it's our families or our found communities–our found families–that's so important to [keep] going."

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Dechanel wouldn't be the first actress with Hollywood-adjacent parents to deny being a "nepo baby." Others, like Lily Rose Depp, Dakota Johnson and Emma Roberts have pushed back against that idea as well.

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