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Zoë Kravitz: "I'm Not Here to Look Pretty for You"

On my way to interview Zoë Kravitz, I get caught in a thunderstorm. It’s one of those sudden downpours that happens often in the transition between summer to fall in New York City—an invisible tug-of-war between the seasons crescendoing into a clap of thunder, then a torrid rush of rain. It always feels like a release. While en route, I also narrowly avoid a swerving taxi, get leered at by a stranger on the corner of Broadway and Mulberry, and walk past a pile of garbage bags stacked five feet high, emanating the pungent, overripe smell of SoHo in the summertime. September in New York is nothing if not predictable.

Equally predictable is the enthusiasm I’m met with when I inform people—friends, co-workers, random acquaintances—that I would be interviewing Zoë Kravitz (though perhaps gushing fervor is a more fitting descriptor). “Cool” and “chill” are two words that a lot of people repeat when describing her, along with “dream girl.” I’ve interviewed Kravitz before—a brief, five-minute exchange in Los Angeles a few years ago, right before she performed on stage with her band Lolawolf. Calm and unruffled, she appeared almost inhumanly zen, considering the electric hum of the growing crowd just outside the green-room door.

Today, there’s no buzzing commotion outside—just Kravitz and me, perched on a blue velvet couch on the fourth floor of YSL’s Beauty Hotel pop-up, moody gray light streaming through the open window behind us. She compliments me on my shoes, exuding the same easy, slow air I remember from two years ago. If Kravitz were to get an aura reading, I’d predict her photograph would be filled with a hazy, warm wash of deep blue or violet. Serene, composed, and unbothered. Cool.