Big Little Lies star Zoë Kravitz is featured in the June 2017 issue of Allure.
The daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet and a star in her own right, she’s not exactly conventional, but she does have some markedly traditional tastes. “Lovely” is the word that springs to mind, and it is a word she uses, without irony, as if we were having tea at the Ritz.
The role Kravitz played in HBO’s Big Little Lies might exploit the common perception a little bit. “I think people always assume for whatever reason that I’m much more hippie-dippy than I am,” she says. Her character, Bonnie, kind of an alt-left paragon on the surface at least, seems uncannily laid-back and reasonable and generous in the drama’s tense, repressive environment, full of helicopter moms and competitive parenting.
“I’m certainly not as patient as Bonnie is, the way she takes the high road with Madeline [her husband’s ex, played powerfully by Reese Witherspoon]. I can be quite confrontational at times,” says Kravitz. “Bonnie has an amazing level of compassion; she’s very aware of others’ struggles.” Just below the story’s veneer, ugly secrets fester. And there’s that dead body to deal with, too. Best known for her success in action movies (X-Men, Divergent), Kravitz shows a side of herself in the salacious but sophisticated drama of Lies that the world is likely to see more of. “I want to do more drama,” she says. There is an intensity in her eyes as she says it. And you get the sense that Hollywood is only starting to scratch the surface of her talent.
In light of recent political events, she says, “Racism is very real, and white supremacy is going strong.” And identity is not something to be mocked or taken lightly. It’s better in her words: “I am definitely mixed. Both my parents are mixed. I have white family on both sides. The older I get, the more I experience life, I am identifying more and more with being black, and what that means — being more and more proud of that and feeling connected to my roots and my history. It’s been a really interesting journey because I was always one of the only black kids in any of my schools. I went to private schools full of white kids. I think a lot of that made me want to blend in or not be looked at as black. The white kids are always talking about your hair and making you feel weird. I had this struggle of accepting myself as black and loving that part of myself. And now I’m so in love with my culture and so proud to be black. It’s still ongoing, but a big shift has occurred. My dad especially has always been very connected to his history, and it’s important to him that I understand where I come from.”
Photo Credit: Patrick Demarchelier / Styling: Beth Fenton / Hair: Nikki Nelms / Makeup: Tom Pecheux