"In the last Batman movie [The Dark Knight Rises], they told me that I couldn't get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren't 'going urban,'" Kravitz revealed in an interview with Nylon. "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 wit chu?'"
Growing up one of the few black kids in a predominantly white school, Kravitz recalls struggling with her racial identity as a child, telling classmates things like, "I'm just as white as y'all." She explains: "I identified with white culture, and I wanted to fit in. I didn't identify with black culture, like, I didn't like Tyler Perry movies, and I wasn't into hip-hop music. I liked Neil Young."
However, as she grew up, Kravitz realized that the black culture presented by the media isn't representative of reality. "Black culture is so much deeper than that," she said, "but unfortunately that is what's fed through the media. That's what people see. That's what I saw. But then I got older and listened to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier, and heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I had to un-brainwash myself. It's my mission, especially as an actress."
Kravitz has since focused on trying to only choose roles that are not defined by her race. "I don't want to play everyone's best friend," she said. "I don't want to play the role of a girl struggling in the ghetto. It's not that that story isn't important, but I saw patterns and was like, 'I don't relate to these people.'"
However, she did make an exception for the Sundance darling Dope, about a group of geeky black teens in Inglewood, Calif. "It hit all the points that I believe in," she explained. "I know those people. I got the sense of humor."
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