Zoe Kravitz: I Wasn’t Allowed To Audition For Batman Movie Because Of My Race
Zoe Kravitz says she couldn’t get an audition for a small role in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises because of her race. Kravitz, who is half-black, tells Nylon that the producers of the Batman movie refused to cast someone “urban” for the part.
The admission comes as Kravitz talks to the fashion magazine about how her mixed ethnicity has affected her career. “In the last Batman movie [The Dark Knight Rises], they told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban,’” she reveals. “It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’ I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu?’?”
Kravitz notes, however, there were a few other roles she nabbed in spite of the parts originally not being slated for a minority actor. Of her role in 2007’s The Brave One co-starring Jodie Foster, she says, “That part was written for a white Russian girl. I auditioned, and they changed the role for me.”
Kravitz, the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, acknowledges she enjoyed a privileged upbringing, and says that while attending a predominately white school, she would often tell her classmates, “I’m just as white as y’all.'” She explains to Nylon, “I identified with white culture, and I wanted to fit in. I didn’t identify with black culture, like, I didn’t like Tyler Perry movies, and I wasn’t into hip-hop music.”
Kravitz adds that she later learned “black culture is so much deeper than that, but unfortunately that is what’s fed through the media. That’s what people see. That’s what I saw. But then I got older and listed to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier, and heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I had to un-brainwash myself. It’s my mission, especially as an actress.”
She goes on to say she doesn’t want to build a career based on racial stereotypes, noting, “I don’t want to play the role of a girl struggling in the ghetto.” Most recently, Kravitz has been able to show her range in big movies like Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class, and the Divergent series, none of which centered around the color of her character’s skin. TELL US: What do you think about Kravitz saying she couldn’t score a try-out for The Dark Knight Rises due to her race?