Zoë Kravitz has officially reached A-list territory for her turn as Selina Kyle in The Batman, but it took a lot of clawing for the actress to become Catwoman. Long before Matt Reeves took on the Caped Crusader, Kravitz tried to audition for a small role in Christopher Nolan’s Batman flick, 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, but was denied the opportunity because she was too “urban.”
“They told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban,’” Kravitz first told Nylon back in 2015. “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?’”
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” Kravitz recently told The Guardian after the controversy popped back up. “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 has been outspoken in her desire to see greater representation of Black women in Hollywood. When Hulu canceled her gender-flipped take on Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity, Kravitz called the decision “a mistake,” noting the platform’s lack of diversity in its leading roles. “At least Hulu has a ton of other shows starring women of color we can watch,” Kravitz wrote on Instagram. “Oh wait.”
Despite the casual racism still embedded in Hollywood, Kravitz’s career is on the up-and-up. Back in January, she starred in Steven Soderbergh’s latest thriller Kimi, and this weekend, she’ll host Saturday Night Live. The actress-musician is also in the studio with hitmaker Jack Antonoff as she prepares her first solo album.