Zoe Kravitz Talks Racism & Bill Cosby
Over the past few years, actress Zoë Kravitz has been busy perfecting her craft with no signs of slowing down. The 28-year-old daughter of actress Lisa Bonet and rocker Lenny Kravitz, has starred in a string of hit films including “Dope,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Divergent” films franchise, and HBO’s massively successful limited series Big Little Lies. In the June issue of Allure, Kravitz talked about her role models, her new film “Rough Night” and politics within America. Peep the excerpts below.
On defining the perception(s) people place her:
I think people always assume for whatever reason that I’m much more hippie-dippy than I am.
On her future as an actress:
I want to do more drama.
On her mom’s thoughts on the Bill Cosby scandal:
I think she didn’t like hearing that. It bummed her out. Though she didn’t seem incredibly surprised about it. I don’t think she wants to hear about anyone being abused, especially by someone she spent so much time with. It feels sh*tty. You want to shower.
On her new film “Rough Night”:
I had so much fun. Kate is genius. It’s hard not to laugh in every scene with her. There was definitely this idea behind doing the movie that it’s our turn to do a film like The Hangover where male characters get rowdy and dirty and outrageous. Women want to do that, too.
On her role models:
I’d start with my family. Both my grandmothers and my mother. They planted the seeds for me of what it meant to be female. I grew up in California with my mom in Topanga Canyon. My mother had really great girlfriends. Marisa Tomei is my godmother. I’ve always been around strong women, funny women. And my mom’s really funny. Humor is a big thing in my family. We like to laugh.
On why she loves New York so much:
I feel most at home in New York. I’ve been here since I was 15. I think part of [my fondness for the city] is the spontaneity that’s possible here. You can go get a coffee and run into someone you know. There’s life and diversity and art everywhere. In a lot of cities, that’s not possible to experience. It’s kind of European. I like walking; I like the subway. Every time I have to go to 30 Rock [NBC’s New York address] to do a talk show, I tell them I’ll take the subway. It’s so much faster. It makes me happy. But like most New Yorkers, I like the city 50 percent more when it’s warm outside.
On her hair:
The platinum’s fun. It’s work. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll stick with it as long as I can.
On her style:
I’ve always liked contrasts, contradiction. I think too much of anything doesn’t work — like if everything you wear is expensive-looking, you look stale. And if everything you wear is ripped and falling apart, you look crazy.
On her relationship with luxury brand YSL:
I’ve had a contract with YSL Beauty for about a year. That’s been a really great relationship; they’ve been very supportive of me. It’s nice to find a brand that wants to elevate you as opposed to change you to try to fit what they’re trying to sell.”
On race in America:
Racism is very real, and white supremacy is going strong. I am definitely mixed. Both my parents are mixed. I have white family on both sides. The older I get, the more I experience life, I am identifying more and more with being black, and what that means — being more and more proud of that and feeling connected to my roots and my history. It’s been a really interesting journey because I was always one of the only black kids in any of my schools. I went to private schools full of white kids.
I think a lot of that made me want to blend in or not be looked at as black. The white kids are always talking about your hair and making you feel weird. I had this struggle of accepting myself as black and loving that part of myself. And now I’m so in love with my culture and so proud to be black. It’s still ongoing, but a big shift has occurred. My dad especially has always been very connected to his history, and it’s important to him that I understand where I come from.