Photo by: Cindy Ord/Staff
As actress Zoe Kravitz earns praise for her performance as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, she reveals that this wasn’t her first rodeo to land the role.
According to the actress, she auditioned for the role of Catwoman back in 2012. However, she was told that she was too “urban” to portray the role.
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” Kravitz recently revealed in an interview with The Guardian. “I think it was probably a casting director of some kind or a casting director’s assistant.”
“Being a woman of color and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the color of my skin, and the word urban being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”
In a 2015 interview with Nylon, Kravitz revealed that the job she wanted in The Dark Knight Rises was a small role and that she couldn’t get in because the movie wasn’t “going urban” for the part.
“It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?'” the 33-year-old stated. “’Yo, what’s up, Batman?’ I have to act the part. ‘What’s the matter with you?’
Kravitz commended her parents, Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, for breaking “down boundaries in a number of ways” in their own professions in response to prior casting colorism.
They both dealt with being artists who didn’t act or dress or look or sound the way a Black person was supposed to act in terms of what white people specifically were comfortable with,” Kravitz shared.
Kravitz had to wait years for her chance to play Catwoman in the upcoming film, as she was cast for the role in October 2019.
When news of her casting leaked, the actor told The Guardian that “it was wild,” adding, “My phone was exploding up more than any birthday I’ve ever had.”
The Big Little Lies actress also admitted that she was “uncomfortable” filming in a primarily “white location” for HBO’s Season 2 finale in 2019.
During filming, Kravitz encountered ” “just weird racist people in bars and things like that” during the production of the series.
Kravitz has spoken up about past racist experiences in Hollywood, during an interview with The Guardian in 2017.
“You will read a script, and a character description will say: ‘Jane, 26, beautiful and outgoing,’ and you’re just supposed to assume that person’s Caucasian,” Kravitz explained.
“And then it will say: ‘Sarah, 27, African-American, funky.’ That has always been shocking to me, the idea that unless I’m being told someone’s ethnicity, I’m supposed to assume that everyone else in the story is white.”
She also explained how she had no interest in playing roles that are explicitly about race.
“At one point, all the scripts that were being sent were about the first Black woman to make a muffin or something,” she said. “Even though those stories are important to tell, I also want to open things up for myself as an artist.”
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