Zoë Kravitz felt uncomfortable shooting ‘Big Little Lies’ because of ‘weird racist people’

Zoë Kravitz certainly has a lot to live up to, but the actress and musician is proving that she can hold her own one feat at a time. She continues to receive praise for her portrayal of the felonious Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ box office smash The Batman. But Kravitz is also subject to the industry’s ugly realities, and the actress recently revealed her discomfort on another high-profile Hollywood set. 

In an interview with the Observer, she said of her time filming HBO’s Big Little Lies that “there were a few moments where [she] felt a little uncomfortable because it is such a white area.” Kravitz earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her role as Bonnie Carlson on the hit series. Citing an oddly specific instance, The X-Men: First Class star elaborated: “Just weird racist people in bars and things like that.”

Kravitz said her role was initially written for a white person but was one of only a few opportunities that came to her at a time when she’d begun to feel pigeonholed. 

“At one point, all the scripts that were being sent were about the first Black woman to make a muffin or something. Even though those stories are important to tell, I also want to open things up for myself as an artist.”

With an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Meryl Streep, some viewers blasted the show for its lack of diversity. Based on Kravitz’s experience, that was also a feature of the Monterey, California, set location. 

Sadly, this isn’t the worst racist smear on the fashion model’s promising career. In a 2014 interview with Nylon, Kravitz explained that she auditioned for Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot, The Dark Knight Rises (2012), but was told she was too “urban” for the role, which eventually went to Anne Hathaway.

“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan. I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant…it was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything? 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.”

Fortunately, she got her chance at the character. The warm reviews will no doubt lead to a few choice roles in the near future, and it seems that at just 33-years-old, she’s slinked across the big screen to the top of the world.

About the author