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They say that cats have nine lives, although the case of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, or Catwoman for purists, far exceeds this number of permutations. The last to take on the identity of the feline thief is the actress Zoe Kravitz (Los Angeles, 1988), who will appear alongside Robert Pattinson as one of the halves of the iconic romance in the version of “batman” that the director Matt Reeves releases in theaters this March 3.
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The daughter of rock star Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet (“The Cosby Show”), Zoë features both Jewish and African ancestry on her parents’ sides, making her something of a successor to Eartha Kitt in the role. that singer and interpreter who broke schemes in 1968 by becoming the first African-American version of Catwoman in the Batman television series starring Adam West, a privilege that she also shares only with Halle Berry, who played the same character in the vilified film ” Catwoman” from 2004.
Drawn to acting from a young age, Zoë Kravitz made her leap to the big screen while still in college, with supporting roles in the romantic comedy “No Reservations” (2007) and the thriller “The Brave One” (2007).
Despite his famous parents, or even because of them, Zoë Kravitz’s break into Hollywood didn’t come easily, with critics questioning whether her successes were due to nepotism. “People were saying all sorts of things and you start to wonder: are they right? Am I only here because of my last name?”, he recalled in an interview with The Guardian. Due to this pressure, the actress revealed that she developed eating disorders during her time as a student in her attempts to improve her appearance, problems that haunted her even in the beginning of her third decade of life.
This pressure also led her to feel that she had to work much harder than her peers to justify her place on set. Despite this, the actress has admitted that the fame of her parents has served to start her career: “I know it’s helped me open certain doors, like getting an agent, but that only supports you to a degree. I don’t think my last name is going to influence the filmmakers I want to work with, but the rest of the world might think that the only reason I have these jobs is because of where I come from.”, Said the actress in an interview with InStyle.
After studying acting at the State University of New York at Purchase (SUNY Purchase), Zoë’s career began to take off in 2011, when appeared in “X-Men: First Class” as the mutant Angel Salvadore and starred in the drama “Yelling to the Sky”, an emotional portrait of the growth of a young woman in a low-income neighborhood. That year she also had her first foray into television by appearing in eight episodes of the Showtime series “Californication” starring David Duchovny.
Her advances in Hollywood were not without hitches, and the actress has previously commented on how her African-American roots have made it difficult for her to land some roles, including in one of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy films.
“In the last Batman movie (“The Dark Knight Rises”), they told me that they couldn’t give me an audition for a small role that they were doing in the casting because they weren’t going to ‘go urban’”told Nylon in 2015. Time ultimately vindicated Zoë Kravitz who was cast as the voice of Catwoman in 2017’s “The Lego Batman Movie” and later landed the same role in Matt Reeves’ film version.
The thief with a fondness for cats has been an object of fascination for the actress, who in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly described her as the only comic strip figure she has wanted to play after Angel Salvadore. “I think Catwoman is the only character I would have considered, because I feel so connected to her both emotionally and aesthetically. I think she has an authenticity and sharpness to her that appeals to me.“, he claimed.
But in the interval, the actress also joined high-profile projects such as “Divergent” (2014), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016) and its sequel “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018). That same year, she returned to the Marvel universe by voicing the version of Mary Jane Watson in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Perhaps her biggest career boost was the 2019 drama “Big Little Lies,” which saw her share the stage with Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Laura Dern. A year later, Zoë Kravitz landed the lead role for the small-screen adaptation of the book and movie “High Fidelity” released by Hulu, a project for which she also became an executive producer and one of the writers, although the show was canceled after a season.
But the greatest example of her acting ability is “Kimi”, a psychological thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh that premiered on February 10 on HBO Max and has earned the interpreter praise from the specialized press for her role. as the agoraphobic Angela Childs, a young woman who becomes a witness to a murder by the CEO of the company she works for.
It is not the only project with which the artist plans to raise her profile in Hollywood and is currently working on directing her first feature film, a thriller entitled “Pussy Island” that she co-wrote with her frequent collaborator ET Feigenbaum and that will star her current partner, actor Channing Tatum.
It is these types of projects that Zoë Kravitz seems most interested in, who has previously confessed that she has never wanted to be a massive star. “She has never been for fame,” she said in conversation with InStyle. “It’s been about the quality of the work and also being in a position where I can create things from scratch. Projects become your babies. I think success for me is having the opportunity to originate art”.
In addition to being an actress, screenwriter and director, Zoë Kravitz has ventured into music. She is currently part of the Lolawolf duo with drummer Jimmy Giannopoulos, a group that has released two albums to date: “Calm Down” (2014) and “Tenderness” (2020).
The seven lives of Catwoman
Zoë Kravitz is the Catwoman of the moment, but she is far from the only one. Here are seven actresses who marked the role before her arrival.
Julie Newmar – “Batman” (1966)
The first to don the suit and cat ears was Broadway actress Julie Newmar, who stayed in the role for the first two seasons. Fifty years later, she returned to her role by lending her voice to the animated films “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” (2016) and “Batman vs. Two-Face” (2017).
Lee Meriwether – “Batman” (1966)
The great popularity of the first season of the series led to the production of a feature film with almost all the same actors, except for Julie Newmar, who due to a back injury had to be replaced by former beauty queen Lee Meriwether.
Eartha Kitt – “Batman” (1966)
The last season of the television series broke schemes by casting the singer and actress Eartha Kitt in the role of Catwoman, the first African-American to occupy this role and a pioneer in American television. Eartha’s reign was short and she only appeared in three episodes of the series before she was declared persona non grata for comments she made towards then-President Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife about the Vietnam War.
Michelle Pfeiffer – “Batman Returns” (1992)
We had to wait almost three decades to see Catwoman on screen again, this time played by actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who gave this character a more sexualized dimension with a tight latex suit.
Halle Berry – “Catwoman” (2004)
Considered one of the worst movies based on a comic strip, “Catwoman” reinvents the character as a feline-powered vigilante played by Halle Berry. The failure of the film has haunted the actress ever since, despite the fact that, as she said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, “she did not direct, produce or write the screenplay for the film.”
Anne Hathaway – “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Actress Anne Hathaway played a more demure version of Catwoman as part of the cast of the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, starring Christian Bale. Unlike the previous installments, in this saga Selina and Bruce Wayne have their happy ending.
Camren Bicondova – “Gotham” (2014)
Returning to the small screen, the young actress Camren Bicondova played Selina Kyle for five years in the Batman prequel “Gotham”. The actress was replaced by Lili Simmons in the final chapter of the series, set years later.