The Batman

Source: Warner Bros. / The Batman

If you’ve seen Matt Reeve’s The Batman, then you’ve no doubt drooled at least a little over the beauty and spectacular performance of Zoë Kravitz, who played Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman.

Well, before this new blockbuster Batman hit, there was Chris Nolan’s trilogy. And the last installment of that trilogy was The Dark Knight Rises, which was released in 2012. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Kravitz revealed that she was told she was “too urban” to play a small role in the third movie of the trilogy and, first of all—who TF thought they could talk to Lenny’s daughter like that?

“They told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban,’” she said. “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?’”

Kravitz said she wasn’t sure who that message came from exactly, she just knew how it made her feel.

“I don’t know if it came directly from Chris Nolan,” she 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.”

Hollywood has a long history of only being able to imagine Black people in “urban” or otherwise stereotypical roles. And while one might hope that wouldn’t still be a thing in 2012, the fact is even in 2022, Black actors and actors of color still struggle to break free from the narrow and unimaginative block filmmakers and studios tend to try to box them into.

Fortunately, things in Hollywood are improving and maybe the fact that Kravitz was able to land a lead role in the newest Caped Crusader story is a sign of that.