“Zazie has such a power and presence about herself that is so undeniable.”
Regardless of the project she’s pursuing, Zazie Beetz approaches it with a raw authenticity that you can feel through the screen. This month, Beetz is featured on the cover of Elle’s May issue and speaks on 2021 and its role as her “biggest year yet.” Since co-starring in the first season of Donald Glover’s Atlanta as Vanessa “Van” Keifer, Beetz has been called “a breakout star.” In the past five years she’s gone on to work on other acclaimed projects—Deadpool, High Flying Bird, Joker, Nine Days (opposite Winston Duke), The Harder They Fall (alongside Regina King)—and is moving towards being a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
What sets her apart from other actors and actresses is her quiet intensity and dedication to her craft. With respect to their time together on set, Regina King reflected on Beetz’s ethic, saying: “I get the feeling that no matter the genre, Zazie wants the audience to believe in her character. And she knows that she has to truly believe in the character first for that to happen.”
Her choice in roles also sets her apart—but Beetz admits imposter syndrome is real. Her first role, which she booked a year out of college, directly preceded her casting in Atlanta. “I think initially I just really felt like, Have I paid my dues? Do I deserve this?” she now admits to Elle.
But Beetz’s complex and riveting character work isn’t the only thing catching our attention in this cover issue. Can you say, “Hello, ethereal spring goddess,” anyone? We’ve got black mesh, lace, and a white beaded corset/robe number that gives a whole new meaning to regality. To top all of this off, the gorgeous-ass, long-ass box braids were crafted and executed by none other than longtime stylist and 2020 The Glow Up 50 honoree Lacy Redway.