Zoë Isabella Kravitz (born December 1, 1988) was born in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California, at the canal-front home of her parents, actress Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz. Both of her parents are of half African American and half Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Her paternal grandmother, actress Roxie Roker, was of African-American and Afro-Bahamian descent (and a third cousin of meteorologist Al Roker), and her maternal grandfather, Allen Bonet, is African-American. Her paternal grandfather, filmmaker Sy Kravitz, and maternal grandmother, Arlene Litman, were both Jewish. Zoë identifies as a secular Jew.
Kravitz landed her first film role while in high school, playing a babysitter hired by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 2007 romance, No Reservations. That same year she played a teenage prostitute in the action thriller The Brave One, starring Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard. She starred in Jay-Z’s music video for the single “I Know” in 2008, and was featured singing in will.i.am’s music video, “We Are The Ones”, in support of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama. That year Kravitz appeared in the film Birds of America, a dramedy about a dysfunctional family starring Matthew Perry. She co-starred in the independent ensemble drama The Greatest, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Kravitz played a character addicted to grief counseling groups.
She completed work on the coming-of-age film, Yelling to the Sky, in 2009, starring with Gabourey Sidibe and Tim Blake Nelson. The directorial debut of Victoria Mahoney, it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2011. Kravitz played Sweetness O’Hara, a troubled 17-year-old from Queens, New York. In 2010, she appeared in It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age film adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini. Also that year, Kravitz appeared in Twelve, adapted from the cult novel of the same name by Nick McDonell, about a group of wealthy and reckless teens from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Kravitz starred as Evie Wallace, a high school sex columnist, in the teen comedy Beware the Gonzo. The film premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2011, she appeared in a six-episode arc of the Showtime television series Californication, playing Pearl, an uninhibited musician who recruits Becca (cast-member Madeleine Martin) into her all-girl band, Queens of Dogtown.
She co-starred as Angel Salvadore, one of the superhuman teen mutants, in X-Men: First Class, based on the Marvel Comics characters the X-Men. The film is a prequel to the X-Men film series, and is set in the 1960s during the Cuban missile crisis. Kravitz filmed in London and performed wire work for her role, to simulate her character’s ability to fly. In late 2011, she also completed work on the film Treading Water, starring opposite Douglas Smith. Kravitz co-starred in After Earth, alongside Will Smith, Jaden Smith, and Sophie Okonedo. The M. Night Shyamalan-directed film was released on May 31, 2013.
Kravitz co-starred in Divergent, an adaptation of the young adult novel of the same name. She played Christina, a character in a futuristic society divided into five factions. Shailene Woodley starred in the film, and Neil Burger directed. Kravitz reprised her role in the film series’ sequel, Insurgent. She starred in the independent drama, The Road Within (2014), with Robert Sheehan and Dev Patel. The film was a remake of the 2010 German film Vincent will Meer. Kravitz also filmed Pretend We’re Kissing in Toronto in late-2013, playing Autumn, an agoraphobic, bisexual hippie. The romantic comedy co-stars Dov Tiefenbach and Tommie-Amber Pirie and marks the directorial debut of actor Matt Sadowski.
Kravitz appeared alongside January Jones, Ethan Hawke, and Jake Abel in Good Kill (2014), a drama about a warfare drone operator, directed by Andrew Niccol. Kravitz co-starred as the love interest in the comedy-drama Dope, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. She also co-starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, by Australian filmmaker George Miller. Originally scheduled to begin shooting in Australia in early 2011, production was postponed to 2012, and the film was ultimately released in 2015. She filmed Viena and the Fantomes, opposite Dakota Fanning, as well as Vincent-N-Roxxy with Emile Hirsch. Kravitz will also star in Black Belle, playing a gunslinger in the American Old West.
Kravitz started the band Lolawolf while in Los Angeles filming The Road Within. Made up of members of the band Reputante, Lolawolf released an eponymous EP and debuted at the Mercury Lounge in November 2013. The band was named after Kravitz’ younger siblings, Lola and Nakoa-Wolf. They released their debut album, Calm Down, on October 21, 2014, and supported Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus, and Warpaint on tour in 2014.