One on One: Zoë Kravitz
Hometown: Los Angeles
Big Break: Californication
Current Projects: Rough Night, Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 2, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2
As the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, Zoe Kravitz is no stranger to Hollywood. Instead of leaning on her parent’s fame, the actress, model and singer has built a name for herself, chasing her passion for acting. After high school, the hard-working teenager worked on “Assassination of a High School President” with Bruce Willis and since then, appeared in X-Men: First Class, Divergent and The Road Within for which she won the Milano International Film Festival award for Best Actress and Napa Valley Film Festival award for Best Supporting Actress. Kravitz currently plays Bonnie Carlson in the TV mini-series Big Little Lies.
Describe the character Bonnie and how you get the role.
Bonnie is a sensitive soul with a moral compass. She is a mother whose close relationship with her teenage stepdaughter threatens Witherspoon’s character. I was cast without an audition. During an initial meeting with director Jean-Marc Vallée, he said to me, “You feel very Bonnie.”
Was it easy for you to relate to the character Bonnie?
I think how the script is written, every character appears to be one way and we are all painted in this way where we think “okay, I know who she is” and then as the story goes it kind of ripped and you realized, I knew nothing, that’s how we walk into this world thinking that we know what people are like and you actually know less than we think. I definitely had that moment with both of my parents when I realized: I’m a human being who is still trying to figure it out.
What was it like working with Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Reese Weatherspoon?
It was great. It was nice for me and Shailene to work together in a different and more grounded environment. This role is so much more human than the Divergent world and also to get to play more mature characters because Shailene and I grew up together so it was a beautiful journey to come to this point where we get to play young mothers together. This entire experience was so warm and full of laughter and tears and we all became so close.
As an actress, what challenges do you face in the casting community?
I’ve had many experiences in this industry where my ethnicity has been a problem. I was once told that I couldn’t have an audition for a small part in The Dark Knight Rises because the casting directors weren’t “going urban”. The issue is people don’t think outside their own box. You can read a script, and the character description will say, Jane, 26, beautiful and outgoing, and you’re just supposed to assume that person is Caucasian. But then it will say Sarah, 27, African-American, funky. That has always been shocking to me.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am a part of the Fantastic Beats Films and I am very excited. We start filming in the summer and I get to work with Eddie Redmayne and David Yates. The script was under wraps so even signing the contract I had not read the script, I just went based on who was involved. It was an interesting experience, to sit back and watch a movie that you loved, and then get to walk out and say, I get to be a part of it.