During an interview with the Associated Press, Zoe shared that she’s had to “fight” for casting directors to give her the opportunity to audition for roles that aren’t stereotypical black characters.
“I would get auditions and it would be like ‘they want you to play the best friend.’ And it’s like ‘why can’t I audition for the lead?’ Then it’ll be like ‘OK now you’re the quirky black girl,’ or ‘now you’re a hippie.’ I can play all kinds of people. I don’t have to play myself” she said.
Despite the 28-year-old’s status as one of Hollywood’s “it” girls with her roles in Dope, Mad Max: Fury Road and the Divergent franchise, Zoe was passed up for an opportunity to audition for Christopher Nolan’s Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
“They told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban.’ It was like, ‘What does that have to do with anything,’” she said. “I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu?’”
In spite of her personal challenges, Zoe remains optimistic that the tide is turning for women of color in Hollywood.
“I love the fact that there’s such an open dialogue right now about women in Hollywood and black women and black men in Hollywood and everything in between. Now it’s about us bringing the change” she said.
“We started the dialogue but I don’t expect any man to write a script that speaks for me. I don’t expect any man to write a script for me. I think we need to do that. If we want to be represented properly in Hollywood, let’s represent ourselves properly in Hollywood.”