We’re now just two weeks away from the release of the highly anticipated The Batman and Zoë Kravitz, Catwoman for a new generation, covers the March issue of ELLE. Having turned 33 a couple of months ago, she’s entering a new era, both professionally and personally. As Zoë says in the interview, she was a “mess” in her twenties, not “making choices based on what felt good to me”. Now she’s marking the first quarter of 2022 starring in a blockbuster movie and will go into the second half of the year directing her first feature film, Pussy Island, from an original script that she co-wrote.
It was exactly two years ago yesterday, just before the start of the pandemic in the west, and just as she started work on The Batman, that her series High Fidelity was released on Hulu. Zoë is great on this show, and it’s a good show, but Hulu decided not to renew it and she did not hesitate to express her disappointment at the time. Her feelings have not changed, as she tells ELLE:
“They didn’t realize what that show was and what it could do. The amount of letters, DMs, people on the street, and women that look like us—like, that love for the show, it meant something to people. It was a big mistake.”
What’s interesting to me about that moment, in the context of this profile, is how she has the conviction to call that out, call out the decision-making at a billion dollar streaming platform, but also in the same interview admit that she can still be affected by someone leaving comments on her Instagram page. This is why she took a break from Instagram late last year:
“…trolls came for her on the platform, claiming she showed too much flesh at the 2021 Met Gala, to which she’d worn a sheer metal mesh Saint Laurent gown. “Being uncomfortable with the human body is colonization/brainwashing. It’s just a body. We all got em,” Kravitz replied to one commenter. “The fact that people don’t think what they say affects a celebrity because you’re not a person to them is crazy,” she tells me. “I’m a human being. I want to f-cking defend myself.” Nearly a week after the event, she erased all her Instagram posts and posted only once for the remainder of the year. “The fact that I’m like, ‘Should I have not worn that?’ No, I do what I want to do, and I make what I want to make, and if I’m now starting to be afraid of what other people are going to say or think, I’m no longer doing my job as an artist. I’m not experiencing the world and putting that into art. I’m walking on eggshells. F-ck that. So, I needed to take a minute.”
Isn’t this the truth for so many people? You can go into a meeting and kill it on a pitch, really sell the sh-t out of an idea, or come through in the classroom and make a difference in your lesson plan, or whatever the equivalent of that is in your world, but then a comment from a stranger about something totally inconsequential can destroy you.
I appreciate that even though Zoë obviously doesn’t have the answer to how to solve this incongruity, she’s out here revealing her insecurities, the parts of her that are vulnerable, as confusing as they may be. Towards the end of the piece, she tells the writer, Jessica Herndon, that she “wants to live” like someone who’s not “reading the comments”. Zoë’s not there yet, but she’s working on it. Like almost everyone else who maintains a digital existence these days. There’s the intersection between the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet and everyone else.
Yours in gossip,