Zoe Kravitz Talks Feminism, Family, And Why Women Are The Funniest

The ultimate Hollywood hipster

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A lesson in cool from Zoë Kravitz, age 26: Get yourself some scenester parents (it helps if they're a bit like Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz). Choose some kick-ass roles in X-Men, Divergent, Mad Max 
and this month's hit indie film, Dope. Become best friends with the most major women in Hollywood (we're talking Miley, Cara, J-Law...) Start a rock band, and call it Lolawolf. And then call ELLE from a tattoo parlour in LA to chat. OK, sorry Zoë, we can't compete.

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What's it like being a young woman in Hollywood now?

It's a great time because people are finally talking about our opportunities and roles. This is an industry that has been run by men for so long and we can't expect them to speak for us, because they really don't know. It's time for women to start writing our own sh*t, directing our own sh*t, producing our own sh*t. We have to start doing it.

What made you want to
take the role in Dope?


I've always wanted to do 
a black film. I wanted to celebrate being black and to work with black actors and directors. But I'd found that I didn't relate to the characters that were being written. This film read like an instant classic, like Superbad or Clueless. It captured my generation so well.

We loved the music in
 the film...


Me too. Nineties hip-hop is really my sound. My band actually played one of the songs in the movie.

Is your band Lolawolf still going strong?


It was never intended that the band would be more than a hobby, so it's a blessing it has blown up so big. What I like about music is I have total control over it, unlike with the acting. It's almost like my diary, and it keeps me sane.

Are you a feminist?

It's a funny thing
 to me. To be a feminist, you're almost validating
 all the things that feminists are against. I would rather completely disregard all stereotypes. With Mad
 Max, I was surprised by the responses of, 'Oh my god, this is a feminist film.' It's cool that people responded that way, but to be honest, I didn't think about that when we were shooting. I was just like, 'Yeah, these women 
are badass.'

How do you stay sane?

My friends and my family are everything to me. They keep me grounded. I've been working a lot, so I haven't been home to New York 
very much, and that's when I really feel the difference. My favourite thing is to take the subway and just walk around with my headphones on. Now people recognise me and it's changed with everyone on social media – they all want selfies.

You recently joined Twitter?

I only joined because there was a fake Zoë Kravitz on Twitter saying all this weird stuff that I didn't want to be associated with.

Who do you call for advice?

My best friend who lives with me, and I have another best friend who was actually physically there when I was born. Also Riley Keough, who was in Mad Max too
 – I've known her since 
we were three.

What's next...

I really want to do a comedy. I feel like Bridesmaids has opened it up for women in comedy and people are really hungry for that. I know I am. Women are a different kind of funny to men. Even in 
life, when I'm just with my girlfriends, we say and do the funniest sh*t that men have no idea about.

Who else makes you laugh?

Amy Schumer is great. And I think Kristen Wiig is one of the funniest people to have ever lived. She 
is actually a genius.


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