Zoe Kazan: Girl Exploding

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After The Exploding Girl’s premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival Zoe Kazan’s career has skyrocketed.

The public unveiling of The Exploding Girl is well underway, perhaps to coincide with Kazan’s latest Broadway venture, A Behanding in Spokane, a Martin McDonagh play in which she co-stars alongside Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. The world premiere of A Behanding took Broadway by storm last month–Kazan in the role of Marilyn, an argumentative young girl madly in love. And this is not the first time Kazan has stepped out on a Broadway stage. In 2008, she made her debut in Come Back, Little Sheba and followed up that same year as Masha in a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, opposite Peter Sarsgaard and Kristen Scott Thomas.

One may think being the granddaughter of the late, great Elia Kazan would be a pair of intimidating shoes to fill but not for Zoe.  She slips out of low budget indies and dives in to big budget blockbusters seamlessly.  After winning over Sam Mendes, Zoe Kazan landed the role of Maureen Grube, Frank Wheeler’s young mistress, in the award winning Revolutionary Road.  At the New York premiere of It’s Complicated this past December, I asked Kazan if she preferred the studio films or the independents. She exclaimed with passion, “I prefer both! It is truly the best of both worlds, having the option of rotation is a blessing.”

Back in 2007 I recall being blown away by the young Kazan in Ethan Hawke’s off-Broadway production of Things We Want.  Since the production she has gone on to date fellow co-star Paul Dano.  I asked Kazan what made her choose Dano over Peter Dinklage and without a beat she replied “Well, I had no choice, Peter is married!”

A Yale graduate, Kazan also has her sights set on writing plays.  Absalom, a play she had written and workshopped throughout college was brought to life onstage last year during the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Kentucky.

At twenty six and having already wowed the likes of Christopher Walken, Sam Mendes and Leonardo DiCaprio, I think we have a young actress to keep an eye on.


Caitlin Colford is a New York City based actress and writer. She blogs short stories over at caitypoops.wordpress.com and is currently hard at work on her first novel "The Obituary Hunter." More from this author →