Zoe Kravitz Reveals She Struggled With Eating Disorders: 'You Could See My Rib Cage'

by Zach Seemayer 7:59 PM PDT, April 01, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Zoe Kravitz, the gorgeous actress, singer and model best known for her roles in X-Men: First Class and The Divergent Series, is one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood. But, Zoe had to fight some painful demons as a teenager to get to where she is today.

Speaking with Complex, the 26-year-old actress -- who is the daughter of actress Lisa Bonet and musician-actor Lenny Kravitz -- revealed that she struggled with eating disorders and severe body image insecurities while growing up.

"I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18," Zoe said. "I started with the eating disorder in high school."

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According to Zoe, she has faced some "awful diseases" including anorexia and bulimia, and that she continued to struggled with them until just a few years ago.

Zoe admits that a large factor that played into her disease was the pressure and culture of Hollywood and working as an actress.

"I think it was definitely about being around that world, seeing that world. I felt pressured," Zoe said, explaining that there were times where she couldn't even recognize how much weight she'd lost.

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In 2013, Zoe was cast in The Road Within, a dramedy in which she played an anorexic girl struggling with her illness.

According to Zoe, her parents feared her taking on the role, as they were worried it would lead her back down the dark path she had managed to get past in high school. As it turned out, their fears were not unfounded.

"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," Zoe revealed. "It was scary."

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Zoe recounted her time after the shoot, saying that she got sick after the film wrapped, and was dangerously malnourished. It wasn't until New Years Eve 2013 that something clicked.

"I just felt it was different," she says, admitting that she didn't remember what sparked the inspiration to heal. "I don’t know... a f*cking spirit came over me and said: 'You have to stop.'"

In Zoe's mind, the root of body image problems among young girls likely stems from the way society treats women who believe in their own beauty. "It’s either: you’re conceited, or insecure, as opposed to just loving yourself."

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Zoe says she believes her insecurity could have been due to her parents, and constantly being surrounded by gorgeous people while growing up. "My mother’s a… beautiful woman, and I think, in some way, I felt intimidated by that sometimes," Zoe shared. "[And] my dad dated a lot of supermodels."

Now, Zoe is working on celebrating herself and her career, and isn't taking her opportunity for granted.

"It was very easy for me to get an agent when I wanted to act, for obvious reasons," Zoe explained. "I wasn’t the most talented girl in the world when I was 15. It was because my parents were famous, and they were like, 'Cool, maybe we can make money off of that'"

VIDEO: Hilary Duff on Her Body Image Struggle: I Weighed 98 lbs. as a Teen

"[However] I know so many talented people that do the most amazing things but they need to work at a restaurant," Zoe added. "I don’t. I can make all the art I want and get paid to do it—it’s f*cking crazy. I’m so thankful for it."

Currently, Zoe can be seen in the young adult sci-fi thriller Insurgent, and a brand new insane trailer was released for her upcoming epic Mad Max: Fury Road, which hits theaters May 15.

Zoe is among a number of stars who have struggled with eating disorders. In November, fellow actress Hilary Duff sat down with ET to discuss her battle with body image issues when she was a teen. Check out Duff's revealing interview in the video below.