DE­SPITE her FA­MOUS (and ACHINGLY COOL) PARENTAGE ZOË .. KRAVITZ has AL­WAYS , BEEN DE­TER­MINED to DO HOL­LY­WOOD HER WAY NOW SHE’S on the . CUSP of HER BIG­GEST YEAR YET From MEATIER ROLES . to HIGHER LEV­ELS of SELF-FUL­FIL­MENT it’s ALL TO PLAY FOR , DIS­COV­ERS

NOTH­ING PLEASES a NEW YORKER MORE than BE­ING TREATED like a REG­U­LAR at a BAR or COF­FEE SHOP THEY FRE­QUENT …

ELLE (UK) - - Fashion - PHO­TO­GRAPHS by ALEXAN­DER SAL­ADRI­GAS

...and it’s fair to say that Zoë Kravitz – the mas­sive Hol­ly­wood star who is some­how si­mul­ta­ne­ously the indie cool kid – is a real lo­cal at Five Leaves, a restau­rant in Green­point, Brook­lyn. A re­cent num­ber of wildly suc­cess­ful act­ing roles have su­per­sized her celebrity sta­tus, but here, on a damp, hot Fri­day in July, there are no pa­parazzi or lin­ger­ing stares, just happy hel­los from pass­ing wait­ers and, when it’s time to leave, an iced cof­fee on the house. ‘It’s chill, which is one of the rea­sons I stay,’ she says of the neigh­bour­hood. Zoë looks the Brook­lyn part, wear­ing a white T-shirt that slouches in all the right places, black and white checked trousers, neon green patent peep-toe shoes from Maryam Nas­sir Zadeh, her hair in braids at the crown, then cas­cad­ing into healthy waves around her tat­tooed arms. She lives nearby with her boyfriend of two years, ac­tor Karl Glus­man, and says life here pro­vides a respite from fame’s glare: ‘I’m strug­gling with how to han­dle things with grace and not feel like an an­i­mal in a cage.’

In truth, the 29-year-old has al­ways been sur­rounded by in­tense celebrity: her par­ents are The Cosby Show ac­tress Lisa Bonet and rock star Lenny Kravitz. But now, she’s achieved it all on her own, thanks to a role in the 2O15 block­buster Mad Max: Fury Road and as piv­otal char­ac­ter Bon­nie in HBO’s Big Lit­tle Lies along­side Nicole Kid­man and Reese Wither­spoon. Next, there’s Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald, a CGI fan­tasy from the world of JK Rowl­ing and Harry Pot­ter open­ing in Novem­ber, plus a hotly an­tic­i­pated se­quel to Big Lit­tle Lies, slated for March 2O19. She has been a pres­ence for years, her inim­itable bo­hemian style mak­ing her an in­sider’s It-girl, but now Zoë Kravitz is hav­ing a mo­ment, and it’s not based on how she dresses or who her par­ents are but on her tal­ent, hard work and taste for ex­cel­lent scripts.

Yet none of this has made her feel like a sure thing. ‘If I don’t have [the next] job lined up, I get ner­vous,’ she says. ‘It’s ir­ra­tional, maybe. But also good. When I was in high school, if a girl didn’t like me, the first thing she’d say was, “You think you’re so cool be­cause of your par­ents.” That car­ries into later life, like, “Oh, you just got this part be­cause your par­ents are this and that,”’ she says. ‘It’s im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge that I got in the door eas­ier be­cause of them. Some kids work their whole lives and they can’t even get an agent to call them back. That part was handed to me. Peo­ple are al­ways go­ing to think that maybe you are who you are be­cause of your fam­ily. So it’s my re­spon­si­bil­ity to work harder.’

Kravitz has al­ways had a creative drive. She re­mem­bers be­ing a tod­dler and putting on shows based on the movie Grease for her par­ents: both half-black, half-Jewish, gor­geous su­per­stars who dressed like it was 1968 (in the early Nineties). They split when Zoë was two, and Lenny wrote ar­guably his best song, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, about the end of the re­la­tion­ship. Zoë and her mother con­tin­ued liv­ing in the wealthy hip­pie par­adise of Topanga Canyon in the Santa Mon­ica Moun­tains. ‘My mum did a re­ally good job of keep­ing me shel­tered. I didn’t have tele­vi­sion grow­ing up, and I didn’t have in­ter­net at the house. I was al­lowed to watch one movie a week­end that we had on VHS that she would choose,’ she says.

That said, Zoë’s child­hood also in­cluded a sa­lon of A-lis­ters. She re­mem­bers go­ing tub­ing with Mick Jag­ger, and it didn’t take her long to re­alise she wasn’t like ev­ery other kid. ‘My dad would come to pick me up and the whole school would swarm the park­ing lot,’ she says.

Her dad moved to Mi­ami, and even­tu­ally she joined him aged 11, but it didn’t gel. ‘It was a rough time for some­one try­ing to dis­cover who they are,’ she says. ‘I went to a pri­vate school in Mi­ami, sur­rounded by wealthy kids, mostly white. I felt like a freak be­cause my hair was dif­fer­ent, and lit­tle kids would come up and say, “Can I feel your hair?” The things that made me dif­fer­ent were the things I didn’t like about my­self; I wanted to straighten my hair, re­mind peo­ple I was half white.’

Inse­cu­ri­ties led to bouts with eat­ing dis­or­ders (Zoë says she’s now in a place where she doesn’t ob­sess about food, and does her best to lis­ten to what her body wants and needs). ‘I went through a re­ally awk­ward phase. I was short and brown, sur­rounded by tall girls with boobs and blonde hair. And my dad was dat­ing su­per­mod­els, so I was wak­ing up to Adri­ana Lima,’ she says. ‘I didn’t have beauty as a crutch, and I’m thank­ful for that be­cause I had to de­velop my per­son­al­ity.’

Zoë moved to New York at 15, ini­tially liv­ing with fam­ily. ‘It helped me be­come the per­son I am,’ she says. She fin­ished high school, went into a drama pro­gramme at SUNY Pur­chase Col­lege, then dropped out after a year to in­vest fully in her ca­reer and spend time wild­ing it in the city. ‘I didn’t have to go to re­hab or any­thing. I was just be­ing a girl liv­ing in New York with enough money to drink.’

She landed small parts, her first one as a ‘goth nanny in No Reser­va­tions with Cather­ine Zeta-Jones, and started an elec­tro-R&B band, Lo­la­wolf, in 2O13 with her friend Jimmy Giannopou­los (they still make mu­sic, but be­cause of her act­ing, she hasn’t been able to fo­cus on it), putting out a few un­der-the-radar al­bums and open­ing for Mi­ley Cyrus and Lily Allen. She started show­ing up in the red car­pet round-ups and the tabloids, be­com­ing the tar­get of re­la­tion­ship ru­mours with peo­ple such as Drake. ‘We kind of dated for a sec­ond,’ she says. ‘Was it weird [to be talked about in the tabloids]? I guess so. I also wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion to what the in­ter­net was say­ing.’

Things didn’t truly catch fire for her un­til Mad Max: Fury Road, which grossed hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in 2O15. Zoë had an im­por­tant, if un­der­stated, role in the dystopian film as Toast the Know­ing, the wife of a vil­lain­ous despot, who es­capes to find her free­dom. ‘My agent would have to force me to go to these big au­di­tions, be­cause I re­ally planned on do­ing the­atre and indie films. I truly be­lieved I didn’t fit into that world.’ But it was her role as Bon­nie in Big Lit­tle Lies that made Zoë more than just a recog­nis­able face and an ac­tress with a voice of her own.

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