Though they’ve recently started to become more inclusive, superhero franchises aren’t exactly known for their diversity. So it is unfortunately unsurprising that Zoë Kravtiz, who stars as Catwoman/Selina Kyle in The Batman, experienced rejection before landing her most recent role. In a new interview with the Guardian, Kravitz said she tried to audition for the 2012 Batman sequel, The Dark Knight Rises — emphasis on “tried.” Ultimately, she says she was told that the movie wasn’t going “urban” for the role, suggesting that she was turned down before even auditioning because of her race.
“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” she told the Guardian, referring to the film’s director. “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.” Kravitz didn’t specify which part she wanted to audition for, though she previously said it was a “small role.”
In 2015, she relayed a similar story to Nylon, saying she “couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban.’” During the interview, she questioned why her race was even brought into the auditioning conversation: “What does that have to do with anything?”
In her conversation with the Guardian, Kravitz said she’s had to work against being pigeonholed as a biracial actor. “At one point,” she says, “all the scripts that were being sent were about the first Black woman to make a muffin or something. Even though those stories are important to tell, I also want to open things up for myself as an artist.”
Following the interview, Kravitz posted a statement to her Instagram Stories about the Dark Knight Rises anecdote, clarifying that the role was not Catwoman (as some people had assumed) and pointing out that “this is something I heard a lot 10 years ago — it was a different time.” She continued, “I did not mention this to point any fingers or make anyone seem racist, namely Chris Nolan, the film’s producers or anyone on the casting team, because I truly do not believe anyone meant any harm. I was simply giving an example of what it was like to be a woman of color in this industry at that time. Again this was many years ago when words like that were thrown around very casually.”
Apropos of everything, I thought Kravitz did a great job in the new Batman movie. Revenge is a dish best deserved in a leather Catsuit.
This post has been updated.