Zoe Kazan, born September 9, 1983, is an American actress, screenwriter and playwright. She is the daughter of screenwriters Nicholas Kazan (Reversal of Fortune) and Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and the granddaughter of three-time Oscar-winning director Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront).

Zoe Kazan Biography

Kazan’s acting career began in 2003, playing Samantha in the film Swordswallowers and Thin Men, and made her stage debut in the 2006 off-Broadway revival of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, and starring Cynthia Nixon. Her roles were sporadic at the time because of her focus on her studies. Kazan graduated Yale University in 2005, then devoting herself entirely to writing and acting.

Zoe Kazan Acting and Writing Career

Since graduating, Kazan found roles in films like Savages and Revolutionary Road and In the Valley of Elah where she worked with actors like Leonard diCaprio, Laura Linney, Kathy Bates, Tommy Lee Jones, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as such lauded directors as Sam Mendes and Paul Haggis.

Kazan also made frequent returns to the stage, making her Broadway debut opposite S. Epatha Merkerson and Kevin Anderson in a revival of William Inge’s Come Back, Little Sheba. In 2008, she was again on Broadway, this time with Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard in a rendition of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.

Kazan’s work on stage and film has not been limited to acting. Like her parents, Kazan is an accomplished writer. In 2009, her play Absalom premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. The plot centers on a man’s tense and often difficult relationship with his children. Kazan had been working on drafts of the play since her junior year at Yale; it received rave reviews. In 2012, she had another work released, a film called Ruby Sparks that she wrote and starred in. It was a very personal work, based on her relationship with boyfriend Paul Dano; Dano played her romantic interest in the film as well. It attracted actors such as Elliott Gould, Annette Benning, Chris Messina, and Antonio Banderas. Like Absalom, Ruby Sparks received very positive reviews.

2014 proved to be Zoe Kazan’s biggest year yet. She starred in In Your Eyes, written by Joss Whedon, and saw the release of What If, a sleeper hit of a romantic comedy that she costarred in alongside Daniel Radcliffe.

Zoe Kazan Interview

Kazan spoke fondly of her co-lead Daniel Radcliffe when asked about her experience making What If. “We talked about that a lot, that’s definitely something we have in common,” she told uInterview exclusively. “And he’s so well respected in the New York theater community, so I heard a lot of great stories about him going into it.”

What If is a very modern romantic comedy that finds Radcliffe and Kazan starting out as friends, and dealing with the Friendzone.

“I thought this script was so funny and so good,” Kazan told uInterview. “It just seemed really relatable the situations these characters are in. Like a real love story.”

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