The Batman: Zoe Kravitz Recalls Feeling Pressure of Previous Catwoman Portrayals

The Batman is currently entertaining fans both in theaters and on HBO Max, offering a fresh and surprising take on the DC Comics mythos. Among the film's ensemble is Selina Kyle / Catwoman, who is portrayed by actress Zoe Kravitz. While Kravitz's portrayal has definitely caught on, with fans even hoping that she gets her own spinoff, the actress apparently had a unique reaction to the significance of the role. In the recently-released book The Art of The Batman, Kravitz spoke about the response she received from being cast as the character, as well as the "pressure" she felt in succeeding the previous Catwoman actresses.

"When I got this part, I was floored, and then when the news came out I, to this day, not even on my birthday, have never received so many phone calls and text messages," recalled Kravitz. "That was when it hit me-this isn't just big to me, this is just a big deal. Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry, everybody. It's an honor to be in that group of people." 

"There were times when I really had to actually step away from that, because I think the pressure for it to be iconic, or to compare myself to those other incredible actresses, I think that's really dangerous," Kravitz continued. "Especially because this story is so specific, I really wanted it to feel character driven, and I wanted it to feel like it was coming from the inside, an internal thing, not an external thing. It is, in a way, about how she looks and moves-but it's really about her spirit, and that was what I really
wanted to focus on. I didn't want to get trapped in trying to make something iconic or sexy. I really wanted it to be a story about a woman who survived a hell of a hell of a life and is trying to figure out what to do next."

Kravitz also spoke about the way that her Selina explores "the gray area" of being a superhero or supervillain, as well as the "troubled past" that Selina came from.

"I wouldn't call Selina a villain," Kravitz offered, "but I think even some of the other villains in the story, they all have really interesting valid points, and I think that's what's so wonderful about this world. The exploration of the gray area." 

"What was really important to me is that Selina didn't come off as a victim, because she comes from a really troubled past, and I think there can be a little bit of a trap with female characters who come from troubled pasts, or are vengeful in some way where they feel like a victim," Kravitz said. "I really found a character who was more than just a sidekick or more than just a good looking girl in a tight outfit. This is a real person who has struggled a lot, and I admire her and feel for her."

The Batman is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max.