Zoe Kravitz Rejected From Dark Knight Rises Because of Skin Color

Zoë Kravitz is earning rave reviews for her performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” but the role was not the actor’s first attempt to break into the Caped Crusader universe on the big screen. Kravitz recently told The Observer that her attempt to audition for a role in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” was rejected after she was told she was too “urban” for the part. Kravitz did not disclose whether the role was for Catwoman, which ended up being played by Anne Hathaway in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” Kravitz said. “I think it was probably a casting director of some kind, or a casting director’s assistant…Being a woman of color and being an actor and being told at that time that I wasn’t able to read because of the color of my skin, and the word urban being thrown around like that, that was what was really hard about that moment.”

During a 2015 interview with Nylon, Kravitz said the role she was seeking in “The Dark Knight Rises” was a small one and that she couldn’t get in the room because the film wasn’t “going urban” for the role. The actor added at the time, “It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’ I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on with you?’”

Kravitz would have to wait several more years for her shot at a Batman movie, as she was officially cast as Catwoman in “The Batman” in October 2019. The actor told The Observer that “it was crazy” when news broke of her casting, adding, “My phone was blowing up more than any birthday I’ve ever had.”

In “The Batman,” Kravitz plays Selina Kyle long before she’s known all through Gotham as the infamous cat burglar Catwoman. The actor put her own step on the role by interpreting this iteration of Selina Kyle as bisexual. During one scene of “The Batman,” Selina enters her apartment in search of her friend Anika. Selina calls Anika her “baby,” a somewhat vague descriptor that leaves open the possibility that their relationship is more than just platonic.

When asked by Pedestrian if this scene was meant to spotlight Selina’s bisexuality, Kravitz answered, “That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship.” She then said “I agree” after the reporter expressed happiness over a film finally portraying Catwoman as bisexual.

“The Batman” recently topped the box office with $128 million over its opening weekend. The film is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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