Writer and Executive Producer IFC Films' Wildlife
Born in Los Angeles to screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, Zoe Kazan comes from a long line of famous personalities: her grandmother was a playwright (Molly Kazan) and she is a direct descendent of Thomas Thacher (a classicist and college administrator), Yale president Jeremiah Day and founding-father Roger Sherman. In addition, her grandfather was two-time Oscar-winner Elia Kazan, who received recognition for Best Picture for On The Waterfront in 1954 and an Honorary Award in 1999. Zoe received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Yale University in 2005.
Zoe made her acting debut in 2003 at the age of 20 in Max Borenstein’s award-winning directorial debut feature, Swordswallowers and Thin Men. After graduation from Yale, she quickly broke her way into the theatrical, televised and cinematic markets with the off-Broadway play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 2006, the television show Medium in 2007 and Tamara Jenkins‘ film The Savages later that same year. She would also later return to the stage in both 100 Saints You Should Know and the Ethan Hawke-directed Things We Want.
2008 brought Zoe to Broadway. In that year alone, she appeared in both Come Back, Little Sheba (in a starring role) and The Seagull, which featured Peter Sarsgaard, both of which appeared on Broadway. And if that were not enough, she also landed a handful of roles in film, as well: Austin Chick‘s August, Richard Linklater‘s Me and Orson Welles and Sam Mendes‘ Revolutionary Road were all on the docket for 2008, adding to her increasingly impressive resume. In seemingly no time at all, Zoe was exploding onto the scene.
The following years brought even more success for the young actress, including a handful of film roles alongside actors as diverse as Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin (It’s Complicated) and Malin Ackerman (HappyThankYouMorePlease). Some of her biggest exposure came later in the critically-acclaimed indie-Western film, Meek’s Cutoff, where she starred as Millie Gately. She also appeared for a brief stint as the main character’s girlfriend in HBO’s acclaimed series, Bored to Death.
Not just an accomplished actress, Zoe seems to have inherited her parents’ writing skills, as well: in 2009, her play Absalom premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Her debut feature-length screenplay, Ruby Sparks released in July 2012, starring Zoe and her boyfriend Paul Dano in the lead roles, alongside Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Steve Coogan, with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris at the helm.
Her most recent credits include In Your Eyes (2014), the Emmy-winning mini-series Olive Kitteridge (2014) with Frances McDormand, Our Brand Is Crisis (2015) with Sandra Bullock, and the horror film The Monster (2016).