Big Little Lies star Zoë Kravitz might be the celebrity daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel the same racial pressures from Hollywood.
Kravitz spoke about her experiences in Hollywood for the November 16 issue of Rolling Stone. One of the things she talked about was filmmakers insinuating she couldn’t fit “a more girl-next-door look” or “more all-American” character. “I was born in America,” she said, adding that last year during a Skype call with directors about a movie featuring various couples, the directors wanted her to play the character married to a Black man. “I was like, ‘OK–but I could play any of the women…Black people don’t have to be married to other Black people,'” she said. “A lot of times it’s just white people not understanding why what they say is offensive.”
Kravitz also said she wishes Big Little Lies would address race more directly, adding that she tried to get more conversations about race into the show. “It didn’t work out,” she said. “But I wish they’d had Reese’s character say, ‘His hot Black wife.’ That’s real! But people are scared to go there. If we’re making art and trying to dissect the human condition, let’s really do that.”
Kravitz has even had to deal with sexual harassment during her time in Hollywood. “I won’t name names because I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life,” she said. “But I definitely worked with a director who made me very uncomfortable.”
“I was young–maybe 19 or 20–and we were on location, staying at the same hotel,” she said. “And it was full-on: ‘Can I come inside your room?’ Just totally inappropriate. And then he’d do things like come to the makeup trailer and touch my hair. Or say, ‘Let me see your costume–turn around?’ It’s just never OK for someone to do that. Especially when they’re in a position of power.”
You can read the full interview at Rolling Stone.