Zoë Kravitz portrays Catwoman, one of the world’s most famed female anti-heroines, in Matt Reeves’ film The Batman. But it wasn’t her first attempt to land a role in the Batman universe.
The Hollywood star says she wanted to audition for a small role in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 epic The Dark Knight Rises but was shot down because of her skin color, Teen Vogue reports.
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” the 33-year-old said in an interview with The Observer.
“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.”
Although she didn’t reveal which role she strived for, the Mad Max: Fury Road actress previously discussed the experience in a 2015 interview with Nylon.
“They told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban,’ she explained. It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’ I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu?’”
Finally landing a co-lead in the Batman franchise, Kravitz’s role as Selina Kyle took months of physical preparation while also studying “cats and lions and how they fight.” She takes pride in starring in the infamous cat burglar’s origin story.
She said, “there were a few moments where I felt a little uncomfortable” while filming on set, specifically noting that the series’ location was “such a white area” with “weird racist people in bars and things like that.”
As the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, the singer-actress admits having had difficulty accepting her Blackness as a biracial woman. She expresses her gratitude to her parents for helping her understand that “despite the color of my skin I should be able to act or dress or do whatever it is I want to do.”
The Batman exponentially soared in domestic box office sales at $128 million during its opening weekend. It is currently playing in theaters nationwide.