The “coolest girl in the world” Zoe Kravitz graces the cover of Nylon magazine for the Denim issue. She rocks some looks from the past for the August issue. See it here and read what this self-proclaimed, half-black, half-jewish hippie says about black culture and her movie roles.
As one of few black kids in her predominately white school, Zoe remembers saying things like, “I’m just as white as y’all,” to her classmates. “I identified with white culture, and I wanted to fit in,” she says. “I didn’t identify with black culture, like, I didn’t like Tyler Perry movies, and I wasn’t into hip-hop music. I liked Neil Young.” But as time went on, her views shifted. “Black culture is so much deeper than that,” she says, “but unfortunately that is what’s fed through the media. That’s what people see. That’s what I saw. But then I got older and listened to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier, and heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I had to un-brainwash myself. It’s my mission, especially as an actress.”
A big tenet of this undertaking involves choosing roles that don’t focus on her race. “I don’t want to play everyone’s best friend,” she explains. “I don’t want to play the role of a girl struggling in the ghetto. It’s not that that story isn’t important, but I saw patterns and was like, ‘I don’t relate to these people.’” Kravitz’s agent knows not to pass her scripts where her race is a key factor. But there has been one exception: the Sundance darling Dope. “It hit all the points that I believe in,” she says of the hilarious film about a crew of geeky punk- and ’90s-hip-hop-loving teens growing up in Inglewood, California. “I know those people,” she says. “I got the sense of humor.”
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