Zoe Kravitz Reflects on Backlash Following Will Smith Oscars Comment: 'It's a Scary Time to Have an Opinion'

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Zoe Kravitz has some second thoughts about the way she responded to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Oscars.

In a since-deleted photo caption on social media from the Academy Awards earlier this year, she wrote: "Here's a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now." The 33-year-old actress doubled down in a second post, "And here is a picture of my dress at the party after the award show - where we are apparently screaming profanities and assaulting people on stage now."

Now, Kravitz is addressing criticism she received from the flippant remarks in a cover story interview for WSJ. Magazine's Fall 2022 Women's Fashion Issue. 

"It's a scary time to have an opinion or to say the wrong thing or to make controversial art or statements or thoughts or anything," she says.

"It's mostly scary because art is about conversation," Kravitz adds. "That should, in my opinion, always be the point. The internet is the opposite of conversation. The internet is people putting things out and not taking anything in."

The actress and director admits that she has "very complicated feelings around it," but acknowledges: "I wish I had handled that differently. And that's OK."

Ultimately, she said, she's reminded that she's an artist and that "being an artist is not about everybody loving you or everyone thinking you're hot." 

"It's about expressing something that will hopefully spark a conversation or inspire people or make them feel seen," she says. "I think I'm in a place right now where I don't want to express myself through a caption or a tweet. I want to express myself through art."

The Batman star is doing just that with her debut turn in the director's chair for the film Pussy Island. "I'm learning a lot about what it takes to make a movie and how many fires are constantly being put out before the actors show up to set," she shares. "I'm just kind of sitting back and learning and trying to not constantly be in a state of panic. If you zoom out too much and think about the whole thing at once, it causes a lot of anxiety but if you focus on the present moment, it's really fun."

The project introduced her to her now-boyfriend, Channing Tatum -- whose company, Free Association, is co-producing the project. Although the duo didn't know one another before the film, they've since become close personally and professionally. When reflecting on her decision to cast the 42-year-old actor for the film, Kravitz says that she wanted Tatum for the role because he "hadn't played a dark character before."

The private couple recently showed off their love for one another in a rare display of public affection during a romantic date in Italy this week

Keeping relatively tight-lipped about their relationship in her WSJ interview, Kravitz does tease, "I guess what I'll say is when you make things with people it's a very sacred space, and when you're compatible with somebody creatively it often opens up other channels, because you're kind of sharing all of yourself. I'm really grateful that this movie has brought him into my life that way."

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