Zoe Kazan

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Zoe Kazan
Zoe Kazan - The F Word Premiere Sept 2013 (cropped).jpg
Kazan at The F Word premiere in September 2013
Born Zoe Swicord Kazan
(1983-09-09) September 9, 1983 (age 31)
Los Angeles, California
United States
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Actress, playwright, screenwriter
Years active 2006–present
Partner(s) Paul Dano
Parent(s) Robin Swicord
Nicholas Kazan
Relatives Elia Kazan (grandfather)
Molly Kazan (grandmother)

Zoe Swicord Kazan[1] (born September 9, 1983)[2][3] is an American actress, screenwriter, and playwright, known for starring in the 2014 film In Your Eyes.

Early life[edit]

Kazan was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord. Her paternal grandparents were film and theatre director Elia Kazan and playwright Molly (Thacher) Kazan.[4] Through her paternal grandmother, she is a direct descendant of classicist and college administrator Thomas Anthony Thacher, Yale president Jeremiah Day, and founding father Roger Sherman. Kazan has a younger sister, Maya (born 1985). She has Greek (from her paternal grandfather), English, and German ancestry.[5]

Kazan was educated at the private Wildwood School, Windward School, and also at the Marlborough School located in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. She attended Yale University (also her grandfather's alma mater—where she was a member of the Manuscript Society), and graduated in 2005.


After her film debut in 2003 playing Samantha in Swordswallowers and Thin Men, Kazan went on to play her first professional stage role in the 2006 off-Broadway revival of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie starring Cynthia Nixon. In 2007 she had a small role in The Savages, which starred Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. She also guest appeared in an episode of the supernatural drama Medium as a friend of the main character's younger self. She next appeared in the films Fracture and In the Valley of Elah. In the fall of the same year, she returned to the stage in a Playwrights Horizons production of 100 Saints You Should Know and Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want, directed by Ethan Hawke.

Kazan in 2012 at the Deauville American Film Festival.

In January 2008, Kazan made her Broadway debut opposite S. Epatha Merkerson and Kevin Anderson in a revival of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba. Ben Brantley of The New York Times called her performance "first-rate", adding, "Ms. Kazan is terrific in conveying the character's self-consciousness."[6] In the fall, she appeared on Broadway as Masha in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard.[7] The same year she had roles in August, Me and Orson Welles and Revolutionary Road.

Kazan is also a playwright. In 2009, her play Absalom premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, KY. The play, about a father's tense relationships with his children, had been extensively read and workshopped since Kazan's junior year at Yale University.[8] She capped off the year playing Meryl Streep's daughter in the Nancy Meyers comedy It's Complicated. She appeared in the Broadway production of A Behanding in Spokane with Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell until June 6, 2010. She also played a main role in the movies I Hate Valentine's Day and The Exploding Girl, which were both released in 2009.

In 2010, she had a main role in the comedy-drama happythankyoumoreplease as Mary Catherine, the cousin of Josh Radnor's character. She also starred as Millie Gately in 2010 (alongside Paul Dano, playing her husband) in Kelly Reichardt's independent western drama Meek's Cutoff. In the fall, Kazan played Harper Pitt in Signature Theatre Company's 20th Anniversary production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America.[9] On the small screen, Kazan then appeared in four episodes of HBO's Bored to Death as Nina, the love interest of a fictionalized Jonathan Ames played by Jason Schwartzman.

Her play We Live Here, about a dysfunctional family, received its world premiere production from October 12 to November 6, 2011 at the off-Broadway Manhattan Theater Club in New York City.[10] Among the ensemble cast was Amy Irving and the director was 2010 Obie Award winner Sam Gold.

Her next project, for which she wrote the screenplay, was Ruby Sparks, a comedy-romance film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and starring Kazan herself, along with Paul Dano, Chris Messina, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, and Steve Coogan.[11][12]

In 2014 she played the role of Denise Thibodeau in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge.

Personal life[edit]

Kazan has been dating actor and Ruby Sparks co-star Paul Dano since 2007.[12][13]


Kazan at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Swordswallowers and Thin Men Samantha
2007 Savages, TheThe Savages Student
2007 Fracture Mona
2007 In the Valley of Elah Angie
2008 August Gal Employee
2008 Me and Orson Welles Gretta Adler
2008 Revolutionary Road Maureen Grube
2009 Exploding Girl, TheThe Exploding Girl Ivy
2009 Private Lives of Pippa Lee, TheThe Private Lives of Pippa Lee Grace Lee
2009 I Hate Valentine's Day Tammy Greenwood
2009 It's Complicated Gabby Adler National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
2010 happythankyoumoreplease Mary Catherine
2010 Meek's Cutoff Millie Gately
2012 Ruby Sparks Ruby Also Writer
Detroit Film Critics Society for Breakthrough Performance
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
2012 Some Girl(s) Reggie
2013 The Pretty One Laurel Audrey
2013 What If (The F Word) Chantry
2014 In Your Eyes Rebecca Porter
2016 Our Brand Is Crisis Filming
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Medium Izzy Episode: "The Boy Next Door"
2008 Speechless Stood Up Girl #2 Documentary
2008 After Iraq Herself Documentary
2008 HBO First Look Herself Episode: "The Making of 'Revolutionary Road'"
2010 Bored to Death Nina 4 episodes
2011 Showing Up Herself Documentary
2014 Olive Kitteridge Denise Thibodeau 2 episodes
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film


  1. ^ "CUE & A: Zoe Kazan". Playbill.com. March 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Zoe Swicord Kazan - California, Birth Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "30 Under 30 – Zoe Kazan". BroadwaySpace.com. 2011. Age: 27 (09/09/83) 
  4. ^ "Nicholas Kazan Biography". FilmReference.com. 
  5. ^ "Zoe Kazan". ethnicelebs. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Theater Review: 'Come Back, Little Sheba'". January 25, 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Seagull". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved September 29, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Zoe Kazan, Charles L. Mee, Naomi Wallace Are Among 2009 Humana Fest Writers". Playbill.com. November 13, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Announcing the Cast of ANGELS IN AMERICA". Signature Theatre Company. 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.manhattantheaterclub.com/past-shows/welivehere
  11. ^ "Ruby Sparks - Movie Trailers - iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Stephen Holden (2012-07-24). "She’s Everything He Wants, and Therein Lies the Problem ‘Ruby Sparks,’ Written by and Starring Zoe Kazan". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Ryzik, Melena (April 1, 2009). "Chasing Stardom, in No Particular Rush". New York Times. 

External links[edit]