‘High Fidelity’ and high ex­pec­ta­tions

Zoe Kravitz on ro­man­tic come­dies and tak­ing up the man­tle of Cat­woman

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BOOKS - By Will Thorne

Zoe Kravitz is in the process of cu­rat­ing a pretty dope playlist.

Af­ter a few catchy early num­bers and some re­cent jams like “Big Lit­tle Lies,” the ac­tor, singer, model and now pro­ducer is pump­ing up the vol­ume on her ca­reer with new Hulu se­ries “High Fidelity” and, of course, Matt Reeves’ “The Bat­man,” in which she co-stars as Cat­woman.

Va­ri­ety caught up with Kravitz, 31, to talk ro­man­tic come­dies, play­ing op­po­site Robert Pat­tin­son and those “Big Lit­tle Lies” be­hindthe-scenes is­sues.

Q: Your char­ac­ter in “High Fidelity” is some­one who lives and breathes mu­sic. Is that some­thing you re­late to?

A: Her in­abil­ity to fully see her­self is some­thing I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced, some­thing I’ve gone through. Some­one who’s able to un­der­stand some­thing like mu­sic so deeply and then strug­gle to un­der­stand how a re­la­tion­ship works is re­ally in­ter­est­ing to me. I’ve had those mo­ments in my life where I felt like I un­der­stand art and mu­sic re­ally well, I can talk about that, I can do that — but love is more com­pli­cated.

Q: What ro­man­tic come­dies, other than the orig­i­nal “High Fidelity,” were you look­ing to for in­spi­ra­tion?

A: “Sex and the City” was a ma­jor in­flu­ence for me. There was a cer­tain el­e­ment of com­edy and true drama and au­then­tic­ity, wit and fear­less­ness that al­ways at­tracted me, and it’s also just such a New York show; for some­one who lives there, they did it cor­rectly. I’ve al­ways been drawn to the kinds of sto­ries that re­volve around peo­ple stuck in a place and the things they talk about, be­cause it felt like what I do with my friends. You sit around, you smoke weed, you talk about movies, you ar­gue about char­ac­ters and ac­tors and mu­sic. That’s some of my fa­vorite (stuff ) to do. When it’s writ­ten well, when it feels real, it’s so fun to see.

Q: Talk to me about the reg­u­lar fourth-wall breaks; what do they il­lu­mi­nate about your char­ac­ter?

A: When you do those, you have to break a habit, be­cause your whole ca­reer you’re told to not look at the cam­era, not ac­knowl­edge it, so I had to al­low my­self to have a new re­la­tion­ship with the cam­era, to think of it as my friend. It’s good to imag­ine a per­son there, you’re talk­ing to your friend be­cause it can feel stiff and per­for­ma­tive oth­er­wise, be­cause that de­vice lets the au­di­ence into the char­ac­ter, es­pe­cially be­cause Rob is so guarded, it’s im­por­tant that she’s able to feel vul­ner­a­ble in those mo­ments. I would lit­er­ally pic­ture a friend of mine in front of the cam­era and say I’m talk­ing to a per­son right now.

Q: Those cou­pled with the sub­ject mat­ter feel very rem­i­nis­cent of “Fleabag.”

A: I ac­tu­ally didn’t watch “Fleabag” on pur­pose ... be­cause when we were writ­ing it and peo­ple learned I was talk­ing to cam­era, the first thing they would say is “Fleabag!” I felt like if I saw the show I would ei­ther im­i­tate, or be in­ti­mated by, or com­pare my­self to Phoebe’s per­for­mance. I did not watch the show un­til af­ter, and then of course I loved it and thought it was ... per­fect.

Q: Switch­ing fo­cus to “The Bat­man,” DC films

come with their own unique brand of pres­sure. Is that some­thing you’re ner­vous about?

A: Def­i­nitely, I was ex­cited when I got the role, and usu­ally when you get a job, the peo­ple who are ex­cited about it are you, your par­ents, your agent, your friends and that’s kind of it. But when the press re­lease came, I got more text mes­sages and calls than I’ve got­ten on my birth­day, on my wed­ding day. All of a sud­den, the re­al­ity be­gan to sink in about what this means not only to me but to ev­ery­body else cul­tur­ally — and the fans of this uni­verse are so ded­i­cated and opin­ion­ated.

Q: You could cer­tainly say that.

A: It was a lit­tle scary, but also when­ever I get ner­vous about some­thing, I feel it pushes me to a bet­ter place, so I wel­come the nerves. If you start fo­cus­ing too much on what peo­ple are go­ing to think you’re do­ing your­self a dis­ser­vice. Of course, I want to honor the fans and hope they like what I do with the role, but in or­der to do what I think I need to do with Cat­woman, I have to go in­ter­nal and for­get about the rest of the world.

Q: How do you feel about Robert Pat­tin­son as Bat­man? What has it

been like work­ing with him so far?

A: I’ve never worked with him be­fore, but we’ve been to­gether for the last few weeks ... train­ing to­gether and re­hears­ing to­gether, and he’s just a de­light­ful per­son and such a won­der­ful, thought­ful ac­tor. I think he’s per­fect for the role, and it’s go­ing to be such an ad­ven­ture. I’m ex­cited to have him as my part­ner in crime and to be there to sup­port each other, be­cause it’s in­tense. It’s go­ing to be a long shoot and there’s a lot of pres­sure, and I know he has my back and I have his.

Q: Ni­cole Kid­man said she would be open to do­ing an­other sea­son of “Big Lit­tle Lies,” but she pointed to your busy sched­ule to say that a po­ten­tial Sea­son 3 won’t be here for some time.

A: Mine?! How about Meryl or Reese or Shai­lene? For won­der­ful rea­sons ev­ery­one’s busy, but I think we would all make time to make an­other sea­son hap­pen. It re­ally feels like pri­or­ity No. 1 for a lot of us, be­cause we love each other, and we love the story and we love cul­tur­ally what it means to peo­ple. I feel like all of us would clear what­ever we could to make that hap­pen. But don’t try and throw me un­der the bus, Ni­cole!

Q: Did you feel like Sea­son 2 pro­vided a sat­is­fy­ing end­ing to Bon­nie’s story?

A: I don’t know if it felt like an end­ing, but it felt like there was a break­through, es­pe­cially com­ing from Sea­son 1 where she’s seen as this pic­ture-per­fect, very Zen per­son. It was nice to break that all down this sea­son. It’s al­most like we met Bon­nie for the first time by the end of Sea­son 2. It’s al­ways a de­light to get the op­por­tu­nity to go deeper into a char­ac­ter, be­cause you don’t al­ways get a chance to do that.

ANA CUBA/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Zoe Kravitz says “Sex and the City” was a big in­spi­ra­tion for her lat­est role in Hulu’s “High In­fi­delity.” “It’s such a New York show,” she said.

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