Zoe Kravitz clarifies comments about being told she was ‘too urban’ for Dark Knight Rises

The latest iteration of The Batman came out last week. Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson were everywhere promoting it (their Wonderland shoot was hot) and their work paid off because it made a lot of money. I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to soon. I skipped the Bat-fleck movies; I liked Christian Bale’s Batman and I thought Anne Hathaway was better as Catwoman than I expected. But I’m very interested to see Rob and Zoe in those roles and their chemistry, as well as the detective aspect of this story.

Anyway, when Zoe was making the promotional rounds, she told The Guardian that just a decade ago she was told she was “too urban” to audition for The Dark Knight Rises. That’s pretty racist, but also completely unsurprising that people in Hollywood think like that and feel like it’s okay to say. But now Zoe is clarifying what she said.

Zoë Kravitz has asked people to “calm down” after comments she made about being rejected from The Dark Knight Rises were misinterpreted.

In a post on her Instagram Story on Tuesday (8 March), the actor, who plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman in the newly released The Batman, wrote: “I was NOT told I was too urban to play Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.

“I wanted to AUDITION for a small part in the film and was told (I do not know who said this but this is how it was worded to me) that they were not going ‘urban’ on the part. This is something I heard a lot 10 years ago – it was a very different time.”

She added: “Although I’m very glad that we are attempting to evolve – let’s all calm down – as well as fact check before we write things that are untrue.”

The furore over Kravitz’s comments came after an interview with The Observer, in which Kravitz – who is of Dominican and Jewish-American ethnicity – addressed the rejection, saying that she doesn’t know “if it came directly from [the film’s director] Chris Nolan”.

“I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant,” Kravitz said.

“Being a woman of colour and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the colour of my skin, and the word ‘urban’ being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”

It’s unknown what role Kravitz wanted to audition for, but it’s believed to have been the one of Catwoman’s roommate Jen, who was played by Juno Temple.

Kravitz appears in new Matt Reeves film The Batman, and is the latest star to play Catwoman after Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway.

The film, which was released earlier this week, is on course to become the most-successful cinema release following the pandemic.

[From The Independent]

Her story is still the same and what was reported in The Guardian is accurate. They wrote that she “attempted to audition for the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, but was told she was too ‘urban’ for the role.” I guess other outlets must have jumped to the conclusion that the role in question was Catwoman and she lost it only for being so “urban,” when actually it was a smaller role and she wasn’t even allowed to audition. Actually, the real story of being “too urban” (aka Black) to audition is even worse! As an aside, I thought it was interesting that The Independent made a point of describing her “Dominican and Jewish-American ethnicity,” almost as if they’re saying “but she isn’t even that Black!” (Update by Celebitchy: Thanks to those of you who are pointing out that Zoe isn’t even Dominican. The Independent is incorrect.)

When I started reading this story, I thought Zoe was clarifying something that didn’t need clarifying and maybe the studio put pressure on her to backtrack. Maybe the latter is true, but I can see why she also wouldn’t want this story to overshadow the enormous success of a movie in which she plays her biggest role to date. Also, the “Zoe finally gets a chance to play Catwoman after racist rejection” narrative is insulting, especially since it is untrue. Zoe got the role on her own, not as some sort of atonement, and clearly doesn’t want to dwell on this 2012 story.

Photos credit Avalon.red and via Instagram

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31 Responses to “Zoe Kravitz clarifies comments about being told she was ‘too urban’ for Dark Knight Rises”

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  1. Nancy says:

    I’m sorry but I cannot look at her anymore without immediately noticing all the work she’s done to her face. It’s so obvious.

    • BB says:

      Really…that’s your takeaway from this story. How about you concern yourself with institutional racism and stop policing a black woman’s face.

    • Isabella says:

      Lately, every story about a woman starts with comments about plastic surgery. It’s dispiriting.

    • Lux says:

      I’ll take the bait: I feel like Zoe has had minimal if any work done. Like any model worth their salt, she’s always had a chameleon quality about her and playing up or down your eyebrows can make a world of difference. For the longest time she styled them very flat (a la Natalie Portman or Rashida Jones) but here they are super bold and arched. Her bone structure has always been out of this world, so I just don’t see the “work” you speak of.

      Further reference re: eyebrows, Arianna Grande did the opposite and made the “perpetually surprised flat brow” her signature and looks nothing like she did before.

    • Jamie says:

      I was looking up before and after pictures before leaving a comment.
      And this is a gossip site, other commenters trying to make it like you’re ignoring the story are silly. Open the link and there is her face, its like she is trying to look more and more severe and have less and less emotion in general. Then the “twins!” pictures with her mother. they’re both absolutely naturally gorgeous – but its obvious zoe had work done that made her look MORE like her mom.

      I heard great things about this movie and I am hoping she does great because she hasn’t won me over with anything so far.

  2. Aj says:

    That’s what I’ve said. Her eyes are angled different even. She was always pretty, but she looks a lot different.

  3. Rapunzel says:

    So… instead of being told she was too black for Catwoman, she was told she was too black for a minor role? That is even worse.

    • C says:

      Yeah, that’s what I came away with and was puzzled.

      Anyway, I’m sure she was getting tons of harassment over this from Nolan stans, so I don’t blame her for wanting to put out a statement.

    • superashes says:

      Word. I’m not sure how this helps really. Not going “urban”? WTF.

    • Turtledove says:

      Yeah, to be too “urban” to even AUDITION for a SMALL part is not any better.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That whole ‘too urban’ thing is so awful wherever it’s used. Just using a different word for the same racist thinking is still crap.

  4. OriginalRose says:

    I saw it last weekend and loved it, my fave batman since Keaton. Zoe was good too. I loved all of if, the cinematography is beautiful and worth seeing at the cinema if you can. I also really liked how the music complimented Burton’s Catwoman with harp and strings together. Also, I’m totally over – geeking but there’s a scene where Commissioner Gordon is lit from below and his glasses make a shadow on his forehead that looks like bat wings and Keaton is lit in exactly the same way in one of his Bruce Wayne bat cave scene…I might be looking too far into it but it was something I noticed.

  5. els says:

    I saw The Batman last weekend and it’s one of my favorite Batman movie. It truly is a tribute to the comic. And Zoe Kravitz was great as Catwoman and now I simp for her. Honestly, the whole cast was great in the movie.

  6. Lush says:

    The Independent must have confused her with Zoe Saldaña because neither Lenny nor Lisa are of Dominican heritage 🤦🏾‍♀️

    • Fleur says:

      Correct , Lenny Kravitz maternal grandfather was from the Bahamas

    • BeanieBean says:

      Oh good gad! It’s like that NY Times article referring to Serena Williams simply as ‘tennis player’ & using a photo of Venus. Seriously, is this still happening?

  7. Athyrmose says:

    “…The Independent made a point of describing her “Dominican and Jewish-American ethnicity,” almost as if they’re saying “but she isn’t even that Black!”

    Thank you for catching this and commenting about it. Anti-Blackness is a trip.

  8. Oria says:

    I wished this dead eye-thing would go away. It’s not sexy or cute, it looks like you don’t have a soul.

  9. BB says:

    The comments on here about her face completely ignoring the discrimination she’s experienced are truly wild. It must really be brain draining living in your racist, misogynistic bubble.

    • girl_ninja says:

      Between the Ryan Coogler comments yesterday and today’s attack on Zoe’s face folks are really showing their best Trump selves.

    • Jamie says:

      This is a gossip site, that many people, like myself, allow myself to indulge, be a little superficial and mentally get away a bit from the constant bombardment of negativity on other news topics.

      Not everyone wants to get into nuanced conversations of race when they’re just trying to enjoy their free time. For all you know they could be major advocates for POC themselves.

      I don’t see ANYONE here who thinks what happened in this story is OK, by the way.

  10. Renee Brown says:

    That movie was made over 10 years ago. She was 13 years old. What minor role was she applying for because I don’t remember any tweens in the film.

  11. Luna17 says:

    Ugh. Not a super hero movie person but that’s disappointing. Also i didn’t realize she had work done, she is gorgeous! She is the last person that needs work done on her face. Stop this insanity!

    • Isabella says:

      We don’t know that she had work done. I think she looks great and pretty much the way she always has. Anyway, it’s weird the way a story about racism has been hijacked.

  12. Eggbert says:

    What she experienced was awful racism, and I don’t think Zoe or anyone needs to “calm down” about expressing their outrage. Let’s speak up!

  13. Anon says:

    From memory it was the role Juno Temple ended up playing (I feel like its been mentioned before a couple of years ago)
    Catwoman’s friend. It was a pretty random role tbh