Zoe Kravitz is the newest Hollywood beauty to play Catwoman on the big screen, but she wasn’t the first actress to try out for the part.
According to Variety, the actress-singer claims she was turned down for a small role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises years ago because of her skin color.
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” Kravitz told The Guardian in a recent interview. “I think it was probably a casting director of some kind or a casting director’s assistant … 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.”
Kravitz revealed in a 2015 Nylon piece that she “couldn’t secure an audition” because the picture wasn’t “going urban.”
“It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’” she added at the time. “I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu? ’”
When word got out that she’d be playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman in director Matt Reeves’ version, which came out March 1, Kravitz said her “phone was blowing up more than any birthday I’d ever had.” She co-stars with Robert Pattinson in The Batman, which follows Bruce Wayne as he begins his transformation into the Caped Crusader.
Kravitz told Empire that she studied cats in order to prepare for her role as Catwoman.
“We watched cats and lions and how they fight, and talked about what is actually possible when you’re my size and Batman’s so much stronger than me. What is my skill? It’s being fast and tricky,” she explained. “So we did some really interesting floor work that incorporated different kinds of martial arts and capoeira and a kind of feline, dance-like movement.”
This is an origin story for Selina,” said Kravitz. “So it’s the beginning of her figuring out who she is, beyond just someone trying to survive. I think there’s a lot of space to grow and I think we are watching her become what I’m sure will be the femme fatale.”
Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Pfeiffer are just a few of the A-list celebrities that have portrayed Catwoman in a Batman film.
She explained that she interpreted her version of Selina as bisexual because it is hinted in The Batman that Selina’s friendship with Anika is more than platonic. Selina refers to Anika as a “baby” in one scene.
Asked by Pedestrian if this suggests Selina is down with the LGBTQ community, Kravitz said, “That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship.”
Reeves told the outlet, “In terms of her relationship with Anika, I spoke to Zoë very early on and one of the things she said, which I loved, was that [Kyle is] drawn to strays because she was a stray and so she really wants to care for these strays because she doesn’t want to be that way anymore, and Anika is like a stray and she loves her. She actually represents this connection that she has to her mother who she lost, who was a stray anymore.”
The Batman is now showing in theaters around the country and has allegedly grossed $128 million in its first weekend.