“The Year of Spectacular Men” Director And Star Lea Thompson Talks Hollywood, Fame & More

As a busy mother to rising stars Zoey Deutch and Madeyln Deutch, the gorgeous and timeless Lea Thompson is certainly a seasoned expert when it comes to navigating life in Hollywood. After all, the veteran actress, director and producer has graced the screen many times over the years, from playing Kathryn Kennish on Switched at Birth to her recent gig as the director and star of The Year of Spectacular Men. In this comedy drama film, Thompson directs her two daughters, and also plays their on-screen mother. Other than collaborating with her own children, Thompson has also starred alongside 27-year-old star Emma Roberts in Who We Are Now, and is clearly a strong mentor to the rising Hollywood stars of today. From maturing and evolving as a movie star to exploring her passion for writing, directing and cinema, Thompson had plenty to share with Real Style. Here’s everything to know about her roles, memorable characters and how she’s managed to keep up her inspiring, positive mindset in a changing industry. 

Real Style: We’d love to know more about The Year Of Spectacular Men! 

Lea: The Year Of Spectacular Men is a movie that I directed. My daughter, Madelyn [Deutch] wrote it, starred in it and scored it. My daughter, Zoey Deutch, who is also a movie star, plays her sister.  She was a producer. I directed, I starred in it and they played sisters. I played their mother.  This project that I have been working on for many years, we finally got it out. 

Real Style: You have had a big year, and a number of new roles. You were in Over The HillCulture Clash, and then you have Sierra Burgess Is A Loser and Little Women. What can you tell us about all of these different roles? 

Lea: I did a movie called Who We Are Now, and that’s Emma Roberts. That movie got really nice reviews, and was a great, kind of gritty indie. Then I did Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, which is coming out on Netflix in the fall. I also did Little Women, which is coming out in theatres in the fall. I’ve had a busy year, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and developing.   

Real Style: You also played Kathryn on Switched at Birth for seven seasons, which is a long time. Tell us more about playing this character over the years.  

Lea: Switched at Birth was a great cast. It was a loved and respected show, because we had a large deaf community represented in the show. There were a lot of people who were deaf or hard of hearing in the show, and they have never really had a show that represented them. We did a lot of signing, a lot of stories about what it was like to be deaf. I played Kathryn, one of the mothers, and it was a really interesting character.  

Real Style: You’ve worked with some major names this year, like Emma Roberts and Chrissy Metz. Tell us about working with these two ladies, how was this experience? 

Lea: Chrissy is a great girl, she’s the greatest, nicest person and such a great actress. I didn’t have any scenes with her, but Emma Roberts plays my daughter and she’s wonderful. She’s a wonderful improvisational actress, very dedicated. I loved working with her. I’ve had such great daughters in shows and movies.  

Real Style: Do you have any role models in Hollywood, whether directors, showrunners or fellow actors? 

Lea: There are some really great directors. Steven Spielberg of Back to the Future and Robert Zemeckis- I really admire them. I also worked with George Lucas on Howard The Duck. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best people there are. I did a show for five years called Switched at Birth. My showrunner Lizzy Weiss, I learned a lot from her. She was very fair, she was a good boss. She really wrote very well. As an actress, I always loved Debra Winger. I just recently directed Alison Janney, who won the Academy Award. I really admire her work ethic.  

Real Style: You’re at that stage in your life where you have actresses in their twenties, like Emma Roberts, who are playing your daughter. What has it been like evolving and maturing in Hollywood? 

Lea: It’s been interesting to spend so much time here, working in Hollywood. It’s almost 36 years. It’s not what you think it is. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of wins and losses, and when you lose, you get up and try again. It’s about persevering, not getting too beaten down. Most of it is disappointment. You get a few victories, and you just have to enjoy that.  

Photo: Courtesy of IMDB 

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