Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Zoe Kravitz Anorexia

Zoe Kravitz’s Anorexia Role Shows How Messed Up Hollywood Is

The Debrief: If there were more roles for women, she’d never have experienced the trigger of playing an anorexic girl after her own struggle…

Zoe Kravitz has spoken about her struggles with eating disorders; both her own experiences of anorexia and bulimia, and the anorexia she took on in her role for a film.

‘I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18. I started with the eating disorder in high school… Just [a hard time] loving myself,’ she told Complex.

‘I think it was part of being a woman, and being surrounded by [fame]. I don’t think it was about the fame, but I think it was definitely about being around that world, seeing that world. I felt pressured.’

Her earlier experiences, which aren’t really that long ago at all when you consider Zoe’s only 26 now, had a massive impact on her when she was cast as an anorexic woman in The Road Within: ‘It was fucked up, man,” she sighs. “You could see my rib cage. I was just trying to lose more weight for the film but I couldn’t see: You’re there. Stop. It was scary.’

She was so thin she stopped getting her periods, her immune system was all mucked up and she couldn’t take friends congratulating her for putting on weight: ‘was like, ‘I don’t want to gain weight,’ as opposed to being like, ‘Good, I’m a normal human being.’

See, you kind of want to question the morals of a film’s casting directors if they’re putting a woman with previous eating disorders into a role where she has to drastically lose weight.

Ok, she shouldn’t have to give full disclosure of her eating history just to get a role, but there’s got to be a healthy way of supporting her to lose weight without getting ill. You’d never get a guy given extra consideration when gaining or losing weight for a role, sure, but there’s less pressure on men to conform to certain titchy ideals.

And, well, there are just so many more roles out there for men. Someone like Christian Bale might gain and lose weight on the regular – and to extremes – for his work, but if he wanted to go for something else, there are hundreds of other scripts being flung his way. Can the same be said of a young black woman?

Maybe all that pressure on Zoe needs to be on Hollywood instead.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Eating Disorders, Body worries