Zoe Kravitz gets nostalgic about only being allowed one VHS rental a week as a kid

6th Annual Breakthrough Prize Red Carpet Arrivals

Zoe Kravitz covers the January issue of Elle Magazine to promote…Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? It doesn’t come out until November 2018, but that’s the film being cited by Elle. I actually totally forgot Zoe got cast in that. It’s going to be a thing – not specific to Zoe, but to the entire cast – because of Johnny Depp’s role, and director David Ayers’ defense of casting Depp. It bugs me on several levels, of course, that I have to talk about the Depp issue in a post about Zoe Kravitz. Zoe shouldn’t have to talk about Depp, and it’s not like she’s a producer on this film or had any say in who was cast. But you know that when the promotional tour really gets started, the actresses specifically will be asked about their costar’s domestic violence against Amber Heard. Elle Magazine doesn’t ask her about it though, so Zoe just gets to talk about her love of film, Big Little Lies and fashion. Some highlights:

On how she fell in love with film: “I didn’t grow up with television. We had a TV, but it wasn’t connected to anything except for a VCR. My mom [Lisa Bonet] would go to the video store, and I was allowed to watch one movie a weekend. I was an only child, and your imagination goes crazy. These films kind of became my friends.”

On her Big Little Lies cast mates: “I said, Wait, I’m getting to work with whom? When? Women like Laura [Dern] and Nicole [Kidman] and Reese [Witherspoon], I’ve grown up watching them, and to me they’re, just untouchable. …They were so encouraging. When those women are in your corner, it gives you a little pep in your step.”

On how fashion inspires her acting roles: “For me, clothes are a gateway to characters. I watch Audrey Hepburn movies and I want to do my makeup like that. I watch Stand by Me and I think, I want to look like a boy.”

On the importance of being honest: “It’s good to be polite, but it’s important to be honest. There’s a difference between saying hurtful things and saying, ‘This may be a little uncomfortable, but no.’ Or ‘Please remove your hand from my lower back’ or ‘You made a weird joke. Why did you make that joke?’”

[From Elle]

Ha, I feel like such an old fart when I wax nostalgic about watching VHS movies and, like, having to actually go to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video and actually walking around and picking out the movies you were going to watch that weekend. That’s how we lived, kids. We watched VHS rentals and we had to drive back to the video store and return the movies. We also used VHS tapes to “tape” stuff on TV. It’s crazy, right? As for what she says about being honest – she’s right, in that women are taught to prioritize being “nice” as opposed to “making a situation uncomfortable” by pointing it out when someone is being a pervert or a bigot or whatever. I like how Zoe frames it as “honesty” – as in, “Honestly, take your f–king hands off me.”

6th Annual Breakthrough Prize Red Carpet Arrivals

Photos courtesy of Paola Kudacki for Elle Magazine.

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37 Responses to “Zoe Kravitz gets nostalgic about only being allowed one VHS rental a week as a kid”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    Oh I remember how exciting it was when VCRs and video stores became a thing. So odd that they are defunct now.

    • Cannibell says:

      I remember the look on my children’s faces when I told them we didn’t have VCRs when I was growing up. The headline of this reminded me of that moment and made me laugh. So thanks, Kaiser & Zoe!

    • LadyMTL says:

      I actually still have my old VCR stashed in a box, though I have no clue if it still works. The only reason I haven’t ditched it is because I have a good dozen or so Disney movies on tape, and can’t bring myself to throw away the only thing that I ever used to watch them on. :P

      • AnnaKist says:

        Ha! I still have mine, too, Lady MTL. I have the last 20 episodes of The Bill left to watch on mine, which is sill on its shelf, despite a complete renovation of my bedroom and private little sitting room. It just isn’t hooked up right now, but one of these days it will be. You wait. All this fantastical, digital, whiz-bang , cutting edge technology is going to go pear-shaped, and no one will be able to watch or record anything without a VCR. And who will rule the orld then, huh? You and me, Lady MTL, that’s who. For we two will be the holders and keepers of the ancient and precious electromechanical device that records analog audio and analog video from broadcast television or other source on a removable, magnetic tape videocassette, and can play back the recording. (Ok, I got that last bit from Wikipedia.) I even have about 10 unopened blank, long-play tapes. Oh, my, god…I’m a hoarder, aren’t I? A hoarder…*sobs*

      • LadyMTL says:

        @AnnaKist, we shall be the stewards of old technology, of forgotten analog treasures and whatnot. Be proud, be proud to still have blank tapes! LOL. Okay, even I had trouble keeping a straight face there.

      • Cannibell says:

        I have “Dark Shadows” on VHS, by which I mean the entire ’60s soap opera. We can have a film festival!

      • AnnaKist says:

        You are far too clever for me, Lady MTL! Cannibell, I’m certain Lady MTL will be happy to extend an invitation to our little movement of old tech guardianship. I’ve noticed a few other commenters also have their VCRs, so let’s all join together in preserving the ancient cultural art and pastime of recording moving pictures on plastic tape. 📼📼📼

    • Birdix says:

      I used to live across from Kim’s video in NYC–loved that place and all the characters who worked there.

    • Lilix40 says:

      It was honestly the highlight of our weekends when my parents drove us to our local Blockbuster to pick up movies. Mind you, I am 27, my sister is 23. It was not that long ago, which is shocking. How things have changed!!!

      • smcollins says:

        I remember the excitement of going to the video store on the weekends as a kid to pick out movies. It was the highlight of my week! I started working for Blockbuster in college and eventually became a store manager. I worked for them a total of 10 years, but then started to see the signs that the industry was on it’s way out when Netflix first came along with their dvd delivery service and Red Boxes started popping up everywhere. Good times, though.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I still have a VCR and tapes. *feels all nostalgic*

  2. emerald eyes says:

    Gah. She’s so beautiful. It’s insane.

    I lived in a world of pre-videos, where you would wait for your favorite tv show to show up on television and would haunt the TV Guide to see when it would be on. Ah, nostalgia. It’s a great tonic for Christmas.

  3. Deleted User says:

    Half the fun of watching a video was the ritual of walking around the store looking for something and discovering something I hadn’t heard of.

    • Esmom says:

      It’s true. I still do that at the library sometimes, too. Just the other day I picked out a couple of DVDs I thought my son might want to watch. We probably already have them on demand but I enjoy looking at all the cases more than scrolling through the options on TV.

    • Betsy says:

      Oh you were one of those people – I think I probably watched the same ten movies! It wasn’t for lack of choice, just inertia.

    • Alix says:

      It WAS fun, until streaming videos and Netflix became a thing and everyone decided that driving all the way to Blockbuster — and rewinding the tapes afterward! — was a soul-crushing chore.

  4. minx says:

    So gorgeous.

  5. Beth says:

    Zoe and her parents are so unbelievably gorgeous. Lenny is the sexiest man on earth! Absolutely beautiful family.
    I usually use my DVD player, but still have a VCR and a million tapes. My teenaged nephews think it’s prehistoric like my cassettes. When I tell them that there was once no such thing as a cellphone, they’re in shock

    • Esmom says:

      My kids think it’s weird that when I first started working out computers weren’t connected to anything except a printer. I remember when my office got email — initially we could not email amongst ourselves! Getting internet was crazy.

      I still have some cassette tapes but only one small box I managed to save from a flood. They’re almost all mixtapes my high school boyfriend made, which bring the 80s back in a heartbeat. I noticed Urban Outfitters now sells tapes along with vinyl and tape players along with record players. Full circle!

      • Nasayer says:

        We were truly poor growing up- food stamps and no indoor plumbing. Hard for my kids to conceive of, as we now live in the most exclusive neighborhood in the world. However, poor today can mean having “things”, at least in the US. But in the 70s there weren’t as many imports or box stores. Our family didn’t have a television. Kids of drug dealers had nice things, we we at least “saw” Nintendo and 8 track tapes!

    • minx says:

      We tell our kids that there used to be one family phone for everyone. Hard to believe.

    • cr says:

      I still have my VCR, I have tapes that aren’t available on DVD or taped on-air. And I still have cassette tapes, because either they’re the rare ones not available in some other format or they’re mix tapes.

  6. CharlieBouquet says:

    I will NEVER forget my parents renting Rocky Horror thinking it was a scary movie.

  7. Cee says:

    I recently moved and haven’t really explored my new neighbourhood but I stumbled on a DVD rental place! They even sell popcorn and candy. Took me back to my Friday nights wandering through Blockbuster, picking VHSs, candy and trying to look older in order to rent 16+ films.

  8. Suki says:

    Technology definitely moves fast.

    Although I love a good Netflix binge and I love the availability of films/TV/music etc, the double edges sort of it is that it can so easily become addictive and you can become saturated. It can become harder and harder to unplug and be productive.

  9. island_girl says:

    I find her uninteresting and she practically a socialite who became an actress. Pretty girl though.

  10. dumbledork says:

    I worked at Blockbuster. Hated having to dust the shelves, but I got to take home a couple movies a night, even the new releases. Can’t tell you how many times I had to go dig through the drop box for customers to see if one of the new releases was returned. Fun times. And before VHS, there was Beta. Remember that?

  11. I Choose Me says:

    I love her! The new do suits her.

    Fun fact: Nicole Kidman used to date Lenny Kravitz.

  12. Milla says:

    She’s gorgeous. Her parents are still among the sexiest and most beautiful people in the business.

  13. CharlieBouquet says:

    Lenny was my forever dong till someone here said he purchases under age prostitutes in Paris.

  14. kimbers says:

    i have a vhs tape of Bette Midler&Shelley long in outrageous fortune and need a bus to watch it…

  15. Meg says:

    We went to the dollar theatre as a kid never the regular one. My dad took me once just the two of us I felt so special seeing a movie the weekend it came out and going to a fast food place to get the toy from the movie. The next week at school kids were talking about the movie and I could join in for once. It’s about the shared experience really, not necessarily he movie itself