As an actress, people will naturally expect that you think you have the coolest profession ever. Zoe Kazan goes against the grain. The California gal who started her acting career in 2003, while still in college actually prefers a career as a screenwriter and playwright. This may seem odd until you realize she comes from a line of writers.
Zoe first appeared as Samantha in Swordswallowers and Thin Men in 2003 and has gone on to appear in over 45 movies, television series, documentaries, and stage plays combined. She has also worked with the likes of Ethan Hawke, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep in plays and movies.
Zoe Kazan’s Biography
Zoe was born in Los Angeles on September 9, 1983. Growing up, she had her pre-college education in three different private schools: Wildwood School, Windward School, and Marlborough School. All of them are located were located in her home city of L.A.
She would eventually switch states and move to Connecticut where she attended the prestigious Yale University. She graduated from the college in 2005 having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and serving as a member of the school’s Manuscript Society.
After her professional film debut in 2003, Zoe Kazan followed it up in 2006 with the off-Broadway stage play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Her role in the stage production marked her debut professional stage role.
Four years on from her first film, she clinched a role, albeit a minor one in 2007’s The Savages. In the same year, she also made an appearance in an episode of Medium, rounding off the year playing Mona in Fracture, Angie in In the Valley of Elah, and appearing on stage for 100 Saints You Should Know and Things We Want.
She was finally called up to the big stage in 2008 playing alongside Kevin Anderson in a re-adaptation of the Broadway classic Come Back, Little Sheba. Buoyed by the largely positive reviews for her performance on the play, Zoe Kazan appeared in another Broadway production, The Seagull, where she played the character Masha. Her involvement in the world of theatre, however, did not slow down her involvement in front of the big screen. She appeared in Me and Orson Welles, August, and Revolutionary Road to round off a very busy 2008.
The actress continued to show up in many projects such as It’s Complicated (2009); Happythankyoumoreplease (2010); In Your Eyes (2014); The Monster (2016); The Big Sick (2017); and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).
Zoe Kazan has also made the time to launch a career as a playwright. In 2009, she wrote Absalom, a play that premiered in Kentucky and followed that up in We Live Here in 2011, and Trudy and Max in Love in 2014.
The actress may seem radiant and whole when you look at her, but things weren’t always like that. Zoe suffered from anorexia as a teenager. It started at the age of 18 and was majorly a result of her depression, inability to express her rage and seize control over everything in her life.
She lost considerable weight, on time losing about 20 pounds in a short time. This eating disorder saw her put on weekly appointments with a nurse while she was at Yale University. She had to visit the nurse on a weekly basis to check her weight. In an interview with New York Times, the actress revealed how she would always gulp down liters of water to get her up right before her appointments.
When she was 19, her boyfriend at the time who was in grad school was instrumental in her healing process. He usually cooked big meals for her and she ate everything because it came from him. However, she relapsed whenever she went back home for the summer. She recounts that it took years for her to finally stop counting calories and let go of the eating schedule that saw her survive on only 500 calories a day.
Family Life: Partner – Paul Dano
Looking at the members of her family above her on the family tree, it is clear to see where she gets her knack for the industry from. Zoe Kazan was born to Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan. Both parents make a living as screenwriters and directors. Her paternal grandparents were involved in the industry as well. Her grandfather Elia Kazan was a director of film and theatre, while his grandmother, Molly Kazan, like her, was a playwright.
She has found time for love in her life in spite of her crazy schedule. Since 2007, she has been in a relationship with Paul Dano. Like her Paul makes a living in the entertainment industry. His responsibilities include: actor, director, screenwriter, producer and musician.
Zoe Kazan and Paul have also worked together on a series of projects. In 2010, the couple starred alongside each other, as husband and wife, in the independent drama Meek’s Cutoff. In 2012’s comedy romance movie Ruby Sparks, Zoe wrote the screenplay and also starred in it with Paul and a host of other actors and actresses including Christopher Messina and Antonio Banderas.
Four years later, she again worked with Paul on the movie Wildlife. The movie was based off Richard Ford’s novel of the same name. This time around, both Kazan and Dano helped each other by writing their own drafts and merging them into one movie script. Paul produced the movie while Zoe served as executive producer. It also marked his first film as a director. It was released in 2018.
The couple a third member into the family in August 2018 when Zoe gave birth to their child, a daughter, Alma.