Sooner or Later, Zoë Kravitz Was Going to Be a Star

It feels as if the 31-year-old actress has always been famous. But ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘The Batman’ are putting her at the center of the conversation.

Comments: 77

  1. "She was in her early 20s then, working only on and off, just another smart, young Brooklynite with time on her hands and a propensity for overthinking." Let me add: "With famous parents able to provide contacts that the rest of us could only dream of...". For a country referred to as a "meritocracy", there seems to be a lot of nepotism at play, be it politics, entertainment, etc. And no, I am not jealous. I am just being realistic.

  2. @Chris from PA Bring realistic doesn't preclude being envious. One can be both. Here, if I were a woman, I'd be both. I was envious of Peter Fonda. And realistic. Aside from a famous father who could open doors, he had additional attributes I lacked. He was handsome and could act. The gods are capricious.

  3. People who are handsome and can act are a dime a dozen. Handsome, can act and has celebrity parents though, now that's a combination that will take you places. Equally so if you can't act.

  4. @Taz - well said & thank you

  5. I am glad to see Lisa Bonet’s girl all grown up and a creative force of her own making. I watched Lisa grow up on tv. I admire her for raising her child close to nature, providing her daughter a good foundation in what is real, allowing her imagination to flourish with a grounding in who she is and what really matters.

  6. @Lu "creative force" is a tad over-empowering don't you think?

  7. @Lu “Creative force of her own making” LOL. First of all, not any creative force. Second of all, not of her own making. It’s the Hollywood celebrity/profit machine that is her “making”- and why you are reading about her here.

  8. Talent? Stand here, wear this costume, say the lines someone else wrote for you the way a director tells you. Okay, some talent required but way more credit should go to the writer.

  9. God, she is stunning. I just watched the trailer for the High Fidelity reboot. It certainly has a very different aesthetic than the original. I will watch the first episode and then decide whether I want to invest in the Millennial version.

  10. Few things have made me realize just how old I am as much as Lisa Bonet's daughter starring in a reboot of High Fidelity. Although it came out in 2000 High Fidelity feels like the last 90s movie, the final hurrah of Gen X before hitting middle age. And now it's reinterpreted for a younger generation, which happens to all enduring art.

  11. Zoe K is not only a sexy stunner, but super talented. Good to see her taking on roles she thought she couldn't go for - it's past due.

  12. The original film "High Fidelity" was a nice little movie - not a cinematic tour de force, but, you know, a pleasing nugget of a film for slackers of various ages. I'm curious how the do-over is going to change things, so I'll definitely watch it. Ms. Kravitz seems to be a thoughtful artist and has alluring looks - never a bad combination in in cinema.

  13. I just looked at the "High Fidelity" photo that accompanies this article and was convinced it was Lisa Bonet in the center of the shot. I kept trying to place the scene from the movie until I read the caption and realized that it's actually Zoe in a shot from the reboot. I don't think I had ever realized how very much she resembles her mom. Beauty truly runs in that family's DNA.

  14. There are many very talented artists, writers and actors who don't have famous parents, their contacts, name recognition and money, who work hard, attend university or just work in anonymity for years and the NYTimes decides to feature someone doesn't have to work hard for it. I would much rather read about artists, writers, actors and musicians who have worked hard in anonymity. This cult of the famous for doing nothing more than being famous, for being pretty, it diminishes the artist, the writer, the musician, the actor.

  15. There are tons of talented,successful parents who get breaks that they may not otherwise get. But if a person doesn’t have the chops to make it long term on their own, they wont. ZK has the benefit of her family looks, connections and most lucky for her, their talent. And it’s that talent that keeps her in the public eye and landing such amazing opportunities. The connections and money only take you so far.

  16. Sure, the connections only take you so far, but when one is exposed to ALL of that - people, places, things, etc it only makes sense that talent will evolve. Hey, she's got it all - looks and skills but she came by all of it honestly! Hello, her mama is the gorgeous Lisa Bonet and the equally gorgeous rock star Lenny Kravitz. I'm a fan - and it all started with the two who gave her life!

  17. We may have different definitions of a 'star' versus a legacy candidate.

  18. Go Zoe! She's awesome and very talented. I love watching her on screen. Totally enigmatic.

  19. Given the fact that both of her parents are in show business, I'd be much more impressed if she ended up in a regular profession, such as a doctor, or engineer. Alas, if you are born into show business , there is really only one path in life, which is to be an actress or singer like your parents. I will say, she is one of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen.

  20. More celebrity worship from the NYT.

  21. Bad tats.

  22. @DM Yes!

  23. Bad is right ... Literally !

  24. Just pointing out "Valleé" should rather be spelled "Vallée," as in "Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée".

  25. This is some terrible editing, folks. How can you allow the phrase "just another smart, young Brooklynite" in the lead of a story about a kid with TWO celebrity parents? The headline says it all -- but perhaps not the way you intended.

  26. @NYCat you're right - plus she was raised in California & Florida

  27. The pretty black female star, the plus sized outrageous black female sidekick, and the white gay guy sidekick. All accounted for? Looks like Hollywood's "authentic Brooklyn" to me. (Pssst: where's the nerdy Asian with oversized black-rimmed glasses?)

  28. @Lawrence : And of course her character's bi. Wonder how Rob's girlfriend is going to feel about Rob spending time with a man. That ought to make for some dramatic streaming TV.

  29. Hopefully, the new High Fidelity will still have some way to get an air conditioner dropped on Tim Robbins' head

  30. You may have accidentally eft one female off the list of the 'dream cast' of 'Big Little Lies' ..... Hint: Meryl Streep

  31. Zoe Kravitz is a stunningly talented young women! Thanks so much for the profile on this juggernaut of an artist. She adds so much to our lives - most all artists do, and in this hateful cruel creepy racist sexist hateful ‘merica right now, we need so many more like her. Artists and art are one way we can come together and protest and enjoy and touch the sublime of only for a moment. Art is necessary to life - and it really is one way we can counter hate. Can’t wait to see everything you do next Zoe! Thanks for sharing your talent with the rest of us!! You rock in every way!!

  32. “Sooner or later, Zoe Kravitz was going to be a star.” Gotta love the byline, it’s pure irony. When you have famous parents with money and contacts, you’re bound to become a star, “sooner or later” for reasons deserved or underserved. Just ask Olivia Jade, she became a star too.

  33. @Jason W Haha exactly right. It’s not because of talent that she was “going to be a star.” It’s because of the corporate entertainment business constantly working to figure who to make the next “celebrity” in order to maximize profits.

  34. Lol. " Robert Pattinson plays the Caped Crusader, Colin Farrell is the Penguin..." and they still haven't figured out what to do with this franchise. P.S. Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Chistian Bale, and Ben Affleck, a regular who's-who of mediocrity. Pass on this movie. Again

  35. How tough of a time could she have had it really? I mean not to hate but I feel like someone unknown actress/singer/artist/whatever must have had doors slammed in her face way more than Zoe Kravitz. I lived in Brooklyn 20 years ago and Williamsburg was gentrifying then, all the artists I knew have since fled to NJ, Newburgh and upstate NY. I remember saying 15 years ago when she started getting photographed for simply being the child of famous people and yes being just black enough for mainstream America to consider her beautiful and exotic that she would go on to either be mediocre or exceptional. The jury is still out but I hope she rises on her own merit.

  36. @HrhSophia You're too late, she's already risen!

  37. @HrhSophia She has no merit. Just a mediocre wanna-be like Lenny Kravitz. Famous for being famous.

  38. I look forward to learning more about her work. Mostly know her from fashion layouts and such. This reboot - and Catwoman = actually sound interesting.

  39. Talk about "Child of famous parents" privilege.

  40. Of course. Nepotism demands it.

  41. Sigh. We could all have film careers coming from a background like that. I'd rather hear about someone who actually had to fight to make it, not some silver-spoon brat who had it all handed to her. Wonder if she is friends with the breathtakingly overrated Norah Jones?

  42. Regardless of the "to be expected" bickering in the comments about Zoe having privilege at her advantage in her career pursuit..... FACT is... if you don't have the "it factor", that intangible something that is able to captivate the audience and thus fuel and propel a career in entertainment.... all the family connections in the world are for not. Just like any job interview... a resume and connections can get you in the door.. but a lack of talent and capability will also show you the door as well. Zoe definitely has the "it factor" and it serves her well... and as long as she does not do a nutty and go off the deep end at some point in her career.. we will be enjoying here talents and watching and reading about her for decades to come. Keep being you Zoe... that is all that matters.

  43. She sounds like an incredibly normal person who just happens to be the child of famous entertainers. When I read the description and her qualities, it feels like they could be applied to any young woman. This article was boring to read. Aren't stars supposed to be mesmerizing?

  44. As the ability disseminate narratives in the entertainment industry changes, I for one, expect big things from Ms. Kravitz. And yeah, stardom is in her DNA - Roxie, Lenny, and Lisa? She's got stories to tell and I can't wait to hear them.

  45. Third generation Hollywood. What a struggle. BTW, Lenny Kravitz was hardly anything more than a hack (second generation Hollywood).

  46. @Paulie Exactly

  47. @Paulie Y’all are really starting to get on my nerves!

  48. Kind of curious whether in 15-20 years plastic surgeons will be raking it in with bad tattoo removal.

  49. @Mexico Mike What a rude comment to make. Tattoos remind people where they’ve been. And maybe where they are going, I’ve got several. With no regrets. As someone with 55 , I’m sure they don’t keep Zoe up at night. And hopefully you won’t lose any sleep over them either...

  50. . . . and sooner or later, somewhere further down this same road, she'll be alongside her dad again acting in more product advertisements and commercials aimed at the "elites" and the wanna-be "elites."

  51. "Sometimes, though, inclusive casting highlights just how much work Hollywood — newly woke but still groggy — has left to do..." Worth reading the whole piece for that line.

  52. How do you explain such talent mom, dad, daughter just great to be a human being and recognize this.

  53. Always looking forward to whatever she is bringing. Beautiful through and through. Love her dog!

  54. There’s a website devoted to identifying Hollywood nepotism. The extent of it is staggering enough to make you wonder if anyone in Hollywood actually makes it on their own. Zoe Kravitz is this generation’s Kate Hudson. It’s the way the world is, but its beneficiaries are hardly worth celebrating.

  55. @Gabrielle Rose -- perhaps...but also, WHO CARES? I'm reluctant to engage in whataboutism, but I'm WAY more concerned with the outrageous nepotism currently wafting through the White House than I am with the artistic choices of the progeny of two celebrities.

  56. @Erin The talented and winsome but unconnected and not-rich actors and musicians care as the connected get jobs they are as or more qualified for. And as art is created only by an ever-narrowing circle of families, you might consider caring about the quality of the work they produce. Narrowing the talent pool isn't going to help art become more profound, only more shallow.

  57. So many commenters are balking at 'how tough she must have it', and I'm wondering how they gleaned any such idea from this piece. I hope readers are not equating an awareness of racial disparities in the entertainment industry with..anything else really.

  58. The two four letter words you're so precious about are pretty much in everyone's lexicon; I don't think anyone would go instantly blind if they saw them in print.

  59. Why did most commenters read this article if they only thing they got out of it was this woman has two famous parents?

  60. So many talented people out there without rich and famous parents........

  61. I'm shocked at some of the snarky comments. Have you seen this woman onscreen? She is unbelievably sexy, magnetic, beautiful and talented. In Big Little Lies, there is a scene where she sings "Don't" in a club. I'm a heterosexual female and I was totally transfixed while watching this. Lots of famous people have kids who try and fail to make it in show biz. Show biz is a brutal world for anyone. ZK had a head start, like all celeb kids, but she's rising because she is the whole package. I look forward to seeing more of her work.

  62. @Northstar5 -- "She is unbelievably sexy, magnetic, beautiful and talented." You nailed the reason for the snark.

  63. @Erin In other words... jealousy and envy is expressed in the form of snark. Typical modern America in action.

  64. Nepotism is America's true Family Value.

  65. @Cest la Blague Do you realize show business families are as old as show business. Barrymores are but one but there are legions of others. Methinks you have an axe to grind for another reason.

  66. There’s something off-putting about the title of this article. I guess it’s the false suggestion that talent automatically leads to stardom. Or the acquiescence in the fact that famous parents or even looks alone often lead to stardom. Or just the sycophantic tone. Maybe all three.

  67. @jrose I assumed it was because her parents are in the industry thus she had a definitive edge to go with her talent because everyone already knew who she was and she would have had access to tons of industry contacts. Indeed both her paternal grandparents were in the industry too. Her grandfather was a TV News producer and her grandmother was Roxie Roker who starred on The Jefferson’s ( and is a cousin of Al Roker). Talent plus loads of connections is a pretty powerful combo.

  68. I thought she was as equally talented as the other stars in Big Little Lies. Why aren’t these other star criticized for their white privilege, and all the unfair advantages that brings? Kravitz deserves to be judged on her merits, which are many. Such unfair, sour grapes comments.

  69. Zoe Kravitz is a very talented woman.

  70. 'half African-American half Jewish'!! Judaism is a religion so what you should have said is half African-American and half European American or more simple half Black and half, how about just mixed race?

  71. Just another child of privilege getting her "due."

  72. Takes more than tattoos to be real.... Way more.

  73. Is there anyone who actually believes that anyone would have ever heard of this mediocre “celebrity” Zoe Kravitz is her father wants Lenny Kravitz?? (Who BTW is another mediocre wanna-be celebrity)

  74. Her fame was inevitable all right...she has rich famous parents.

  75. Being Jewish is a religion not a race. She is of mixed race and of the Jewish faith. Not a necessity to bring up her religion when not pertinent to the conversation. Unless perhaps you mention casually in your other profiles when people are perhaps Christian or Muslins.

  76. According to most surveys including "Business Insider" between 70% and 85% of all job vacancies in all industries are filled by referrals. America indeed is a patronage mill from the top of it to the bottom it. I think if we are all honest most people at one time or another have benefited from knowing "a guy". I know I have. We only complain when we can't get what we want when we want it. The major difference here is that if she can't cut it everybody in the world will know about it and she will probably have at least one more shot to prove her worth. Maybe not, she is "urban" black. That said I might watch her show despite those horrible tatts. I guess I am just getting old

  77. Beautiful girl! Why does she believe that defacing a work of art, her body, with silly graffiti is necessary or even desirable? A shame