“The thing about Anita is you don’t really know that much about her other than she’s, like, a stewardess [or] a flight attendant,” Deschanel, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her latest film project, Dreamin’ Wild. “And she loves music.”
Deschanel, who portrayed Anita in the 2000 coming-of-age film, noted that her character was “the catalyst, in a way, by leaving a record collection” for her brother, William Miller (Patrick Fugit), who is the protagonist. (In the movie, high schooler William hits the road with rock band Stillwater while trying to land a cover story for Rolling Stone.)
Despite knowing very little about Anita, Deschanel thinks the character is “hopefully doing something [in] music” after traveling all over the world.
When it comes to Summer’s happily ever after, Deschanel envisions a romantic story line.
In the 2009 rom-com, Tom falls for Summer — who later breaks his heart. While Tom picks up the pieces and gets a second chance at love with Autumn (Minka Kelly), fans are still vocal to this day about how Summer treated Tom.
“Watch it again. It’s mostly Tom’s fault,” Gordon-Levitt, 42, tweeted in 2018 in response to continued fan backlash over the movie’s ending. “He’s projecting. He’s not listening. He’s selfish. Luckily he grows by the end.”
Deschanel echoed her costar’s sentiment in 2019, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I’m just so surprised when women will be like, ‘I hated your character in that movie!’ I’m like, ‘Really? She said everything from the beginning!’”
Deschanel noted that the distaste for Summer could be pegged to Gordon-Levitt’s likability. “I think it’s also a testament to how, like, adorable you are in the movie,” Deschanel told her castmate at the time. “Everyone’s like, ‘What?! Why would you turn him down? He’s so cute!’”
The polarizing views over 500 Days of Summer are why Deschanel has entertained the idea of making a sequel. “We always talked about 500 Days of Summer. You know, what’s a different perspective on that? But yeah, I don’t know,” Deschanel told Us when asked about a possible second film.
For now, Deschanel is focused on Dreamin’ Wild, which hits theaters Friday, August 4. In the movie, which is based on the true story of brothers and musicians Donnie and Joe Emerson, Deschanel plays Donnie’s wife, Nancy Sophia Emerson.
“I really wanted to make sure that she was happy. It’s tough I think [when] you’re playing a real person,” Deschanel told Us of her role, noting that Nancy was “very supportive” of the musical duo during their road to success. (Donnie and Joe’s 1979 record, Dreamin’ Wild, was rediscovered in 2008, leading to newfound fame and accolades.)
Deschanel described Nancy, who currently performs with her husband, as “a cheerleader, really, for Donnie and a very supportive partner.” She added: “I know she wanted it to come across that she wasn’t jealous or anything, when he started to get success from his, like, kind of teenage work. She was very supportive, and I wanted to respect that and make sure that came across. I wanted to make sure I did right by her.”
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With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton