Rapid Round: Zoe Kravitz on Tribeca Movie 'Vincent N Roxxy's' Shocking Ending, Preparing for Final 'Divergent' Film
The actress, who stars opposite Emile Hirsch in the film premiering Monday night at the festival, talks about the "dream situation" of 'Big Little Lies' and her interest in challenging herself with a comedy.
For most of its nearly two-hour running time, the Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz starrer Vincent N Roxxy plays out as a rural love story, following two strangers, a small-town loner (Hirsch's Vincent) and rebellious punk rocker (Kravitz's Roxxy) as they hide out at Vincent's family's farm and grow closer.
But about 20 minutes before the end, the film takes, as Kravitz calls it, "a dramatic turn to the left" in the form of a shocking, violent denouement as Vincent and Roxxy's pasts catch up with them.
Kravitz says it was this "unexpected" element of the script that made her want to star in the film, which has its world premiere tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film, written and directed by Gary Michael Schultz, also features Emory Cohen, Zoey Deutch, Kid Cudi and Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell.
Kravitz talked to The Hollywood Reporter about making the movie, including revealing another side to Roxxy at the end of the film, and shared what compels her to take on a project, her experience working on HBO's star-studded limited series Big Little Lies and her thoughts going into the final Divergent film.
What made you want to get involved with this movie?
I love that [my role] was written for a brown girl but [the movie] wasn't about an interracial couple. And then, of course, like the last eight pages, I was so confused and so shocked. It does have a really interesting twist to the story. It's nice to be surprised. After so many years of storytelling, it starts to get repetitive. So when something does really shock you, it's refreshing to read.
What was it like seeing those surprising events unfold onscreen instead of just reading them?
I've seen a rough cut [of the film]. It's very intense. It definitely looks like what it felt like to shoot it. It's so dramatic and so out there that it could be viewed as too much, but I feel like because we shot the end after we shot everything else, we really got the time to understand these characters and what they meant to each other and what they've gone through and how heartbreaking the end really is. I think by the time we shot that, we were able to do it in a grounded way, because we were very clear on what was happening and what had happened.
You didn't think the end was too much? Because some people might feel that way.
I mean, it's a movie. I think too much is good sometimes. People forget we can do unexpected things in film. And I think that's what makes it interesting, and it would be a completely different film without it. And that's what really made me want to do it, because I'd never seen that before.
You really see in those moments that Roxxy's a strong female character. How do you feel about how the film's ending allowed her to exhibit so much strength?
I thought it was beautiful. I thought it was beautiful that a man wrote this script…I was so surprised by the end, seeing whose story it really belongs to. I think it was beautiful to see it take a dramatic turn to the left and see that character really surprise the audience like that.
Why does Roxxy go on that mission at the end of the film instead of just freeing herself of that whole world? She's given that opportunity to just sort of run away. It seems like she feels like she has to take care of this thing before she can do that.
Her brother has a past, and Vincent has a past, and Roxxy, she may have done things in the past, but she's really an innocent person throughout this story. I really tried to keep in mind the reality of what happened to her: losing a brother and falling in love and losing that love and that family that she's been able to put together after losing her real family. That will push the right kind of person, a certain kind of person. Instead of running away from the violence, she embraced it.
It seems like Roxxy feels very comfortable with Vincent right off the bat. Why do you think she feels so at ease with him?
I feel like there's definitely some sort of unspoken connection they have. I'd ask myself those questions as well when I was reading the script, and you have to remember she has no other choice at this point. Everyone else in her life is gone; she's scared to go back to where she lives. I think it's also just an act of survival.
What do you think when you see yourself onscreen?
It depends on the project and the film. There are things where I just want to cringe when I see myself, and then there's the constant judgment that happens. With this film particularly, the story itself is so important to me and independent film, everything that everybody went through to make this film happen. We worked long hours and were in the cold and we were in the heat and rewriting during scenes, it was just a labor of love, the whole project. So I think when you get to be more involved as an actor, seeing the finished project is so much more exciting, because it's not just about seeing the performance, it's about everything pulled together. I loved seeing what everybody contributed and how it all came together.
You've done so many different types of roles at this point in your career, and you're still young. Is there a dream role or a type of movie/genre that you would like to explore that you haven't?
Comedy is the one thing I haven't really done. I love comedy. I think it's one of the most difficult avenues of acting. I think it's so much harder than people think it is, and it would definitely be a fun challenge and something I'd love to do. In terms of storytelling, when I see something or hear something that I relate to so well but it feels like if I'm not part of telling this story, I'm going to cry or I've never seen this type of story in my life, that's just so interesting to me, and I want to help that story get told.
What can you tell us about Big Little Lies [HBO's seven-episode limited series, based on the book of the same name, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley]?
I've been having so much fun. It's a dream situation. All of these incredible women that I've watched, I get to work with them. The way that Jean-Marc [Vallee], our director, works is so magnificent.
How do you feel about filming the final chapter of the Divergent series with a new director and movie based on the second half of the third book?
I'm ready to go. I'm kind of in the dark about what's happening. We haven't gotten our scripts yet. It's going to be bittersweet because I really loved working with everyone involved with those films. We'll have a new director and it's the last story we'll tell together. It'll be interesting.