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It wasn’t so long ago that Zoe Kazan was just another theater student at Yale University. Fast-forward a few years and the 25-year-old has blossomed into a promising acting powerhouse. This fall, she’ll appear on Broadway in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard, and on-screen in Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Not that such co-stars should faze her much: After all, her grandfather is director Elia Kazan and her parents, Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, are screenwriters of flicks such as the Oscar-nominated Reversal of Fortune and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Unlike some of her Hollywood royalty peers, however, Kazan eschews panty-flashing nights out for dinner parties at home in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with her boyfriend, actor Paul Dano.
WORKING OVERTIME: Kazan shot four movies and did three plays in the past year, but agreed to tread the boards one more time for The Seagull. “I’ve been working without a break,” she says. “I put my foot down to my agents and said I don’t want to do any more plays. I’m tired. They totally consume you—but then this one came up and there was no way I wasn’t going to try.”
CHAMELEON: Kazan, who is naturally fair-haired, has done everything with her locks, from dyeing them black and cutting heavy bangs to going blonde and curly. “I wake up in the morning and I have dreadlocks on the back of my head because it’s just so damaged,” she says. “My mom’s like, ‘Please buy a wig [for work].’”
ON THE ROAD: The actress’ shooting schedule has kept her away from home for much of the past 12 months. “I feel like such a gypsy with all my belongings tied on a stick,” says the Los Angeles native, who has spent much of her time in London, where she became a fan of the vintage clothing markets. “I bought a little necklace with copper shoes on it. I saw these little worn-out shoes, and that’s how I felt.”
RED-CARPET DRESSING: You won’t hear Rachel Zoe saying, “I die,” as she pulls clothing for Kazan’s turns in the spotlight. The starlet prefers to pick out her own outfits. “It’s always nice when someone wants to lend you pretty clothes. But I don’t know whether I would feel comfortable having someone play dress-up with me,” she says. “I’m sure I’ll look back, though, and think, ‘What an idiot.’”