Before Zoë Kravitz sunk her claws into Catwoman for Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” the actress said she was told she didn’t have the right look for a role in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” due to her skin color.
After attempting to audition for the film back in 2012, she was told she was too “urban” to star in the movie.
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” Kravitz recently told The Guardian. “I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant.”
Kravitz, who is of Black and Jewish descent, added, “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.”
The “High Fidelity” star currently plays Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) opposite Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. Kravitz’s Catwoman also identifies as bisexual, per Kravitz’s interpretation of the role. She also worked with writer-director Reeves to make Selina a three-dimensional character with her own life outside of the “Batman” storyline.
As for her response to past casting colorism, Kravitz credited her parents Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet for breaking “down boundaries in a lot of ways” in their respective industries. “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 continued.
The “Big Little Lies” alum also revealed that she felt “uncomfortable” filming in a predominantly “white area” for the HBO series that wrapped Season 2 in 2019. Kravitz endured “just weird racist people in bars and things like that” during production.
Kravitz has opened up about past racist experiences in Hollywood, “where my ethnicity has been a problem,” as she said to 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 said at the time. “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.”