Beyond the Magazine

There’s a crop of young talent splashing over our screens this season, while also bringing a new ethos to the red carpet.

Over the next months we’ll be showcasing talent to watch – and their style choices. First up is Zazie Beetz who always makes you sit up and take notice. You’ve seen her in Atlanta and Deadpool 2, and this season she has cropped up in Seberg, The Joker, and Lucy in the Sky. As these films have premiered across the globe, young Beetz has drawn the eye with her daring. Click through the gallery to see what makes her so watchable and a fashion icon of the future.

Zazie Beetz
ph. HFPA

On Vanity Fair: Zazie Beetz has a lot of plans. She wants to live abroad. Maybe Paris, maybe Berlin. She wants to learn Arabic. In fact, she completed a three-month course the day before we met. She wants to make time for painting. She wants to work in women’s health. (“A specific word, I suppose, is ‘doula.’”) She wants to be a mom someday, she thinks.

Such a grab bag, each plan dreamier than the next, squares with the 27-year-old sitting across from me. Today’s most talented upstarts tend to want to round themselves out just as they’re getting started. Not all of them, though, have already secured a three-picture deal with Fox and a lead role on one of television’s most acclaimed shows.

Zazie Beetz Beyond the Magazine
ON THE RAILS Zazie Beetz, photographed on and around the New York City subway. Hat and clothing by Dior. Photograph by Cass Bird; Styled by Samira Nasr. Source Vanity Fair

It’s not that all of Beetz’s plans are completely incompatible with a ballooning career. The highlights: Heading into Season Three as Van on FX’s Atlanta. Domino in the blockbusting Deadpool 2. A role in the upcoming X-Force, plus Joker this fall, plus the Fox Searchlight drama Lucy in the Sky, with Natalie Portman. Plus, plus, plus. It’s that, to remain grounded, she applies the picking and choosing of a treasure-hunter to her life. “I think fundamentally—and I don’t know if this is a privileged thing to say—I could leave this business tomorrow and be completely fine.”

Beetz’s talent, thankfully, hasn’t allowed her to walk away. Her dad, who moved the family from Berlin to New York when Zazie was little, liked to say she lacked “focus” as a kid. She chose acting because she was good at it, yes, but also because the road forked at LaGuardia High School. “You could kind of pick your major,” she says. “I didn’t apply for visual art. I applied for theater. I don’t really know why. But that was the direction I took. I was 13.”