With The Batman winning over most critics as well as unsurprisingly making enough money to impress a billionaire like Bruce Wayne, Zoë Kravitz is in the spotlight like never before. The actor is being hailed for her performance as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. And yet according to Kravitz, it wasn’t that long ago that she was barred from even auditioning for a Batman movie because of the color of her skin.
Speaking to The Observer in a story that was published over the weekend, Zoë Kravitz started talking about some of the more disappointing experiences in her career up until The Batman, saying that one that hit her especially hard was when she was told she couldn’t audition for the final film in Christopher Nolan’s superhero trilogy, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, because she was too “urban” for the role. Kravitz says she doesn’t know if this decision came directly from Nolan. “I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant,” Kravitz said. “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 news got Anne Hathaway’s name trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. And we mean “wrong” in a few different ways. Some fans are trashing Hathaway in favor of Zoë Kravitz, and a lot of sites are feeding their anger. More than a few news sites are incorrectly reporting that the role Kravitz was auditioning for in The Dark Knight Rises was the one Hathaway got — of Catwoman — when not only did Kravitz not say that was the case, but in an earlier interview, she specified that the role she tried to audition for was a small one.
As recalled by Variety, Zoë Kravitz spoke briefly to Nylon about what happened in 2015. In the interview, Kravitz specifically says the part she wanted to audition for was a “small role,” which means it couldn’t have possibly been Catwoman. If true, it’s still a problematic decision, but blaming Anne Hathaway for it seems equally problematic, not to mention just plain wrong.
Unfortunately, Zoë Kravitz tells The Observer The Dark Knight Rises is hardly the first time her skin color was an issue. She said, “At one point, all the scripts that were being sent were about the first Black woman to make a muffin or something.” She added that she thought one of the reasons one of her bigger parts in recent years — Bonnie Carlson in HBO’s Big Little Lies — was written as such a multilayered character is because she was originally conceived as a white woman. She also told Nylon that she’s had the luck at least once of casting directors smartly applying some color-blind to their decisions. She mentioned that she auditioned for a role in 2007’s The Brave One starring Jodie Foster. In spite of the role being written for a white Russian girl, Kravitz landed it. “I auditioned, and they changed the role for me.” We’re guessing with The Batman‘s success, few casting directors are going to be getting in her way of auditioning any time soon.