While talking to Zoe Kravitz about her drone pilot drama “Good Kill,” her phone buzzes. “It’s just my dad wanting to facetime,” she remarks, casually. Her dad, of course, is not just a dad. He’s Lenny Kravitz, and her mother is Lisa Bonet — a musician and an actress, respectively. Zoe, naturally, does both. (And so do her parents: Lisa played in a band in “High Fidelity” and Lenny has acted in “Precious” and two “The Hunger Games” movies.) In between releasing music with her band Lolawolf, Zoe has extended the mish-mash approach to films, juggling franchise entries (“X-Men: First Class,” “Divergent,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) with smaller titles. In the most recent, “Good Kill,” she and Ethan Hawke play drone pilots who do missions and bomb suspects far, far removed from the action: in Las Vegas.
You’ve said you don’t like to talk politics. What drew you to this subject?
I’m very honest about it. I’m not claiming to be a politician; I’m not claiming to have the answers. Basically, I did this movie to open my eyes to how ignorant I am on the drone program. I had never taken the time to research it or knew much about it. That means there are other people who don’t know about it, and that doesn’t make them stupid either. I wanted to help get that information out there.
What angle on drones most intrigued you?
The thing that disturbs me the most is the disconnect. We are developing these programs in which we’re able to play god with zero consequences for ourselves. That gets really scary.
As Hawke’s character says, he can go kill people and then have a barbecue.
There’s something to be said about choosing to go to war for your country and having to leave your family. You go and you get dirty and you get bloody and you sacrifice yourself. People really think about what they’re doing in those situations. There’s a human contact. You have to look into the person’s eyes you’ve just killed and understand what it means. And when that’s taken away, it’s scary, because the human aspect of war — and war is human instinct, I believe — is gone.
This is a delicate subject, as you don’t want to alienate the people you’re portraying, even as you criticizing their job.
Andrew did a great job of not picking one side or the other. Obviously if you’re a compassionate human being there’s a way you might choose to go. I hadn’t thought about how it affects the people flying the drones. It opened my eyes. I think we tried to honor that.
What drew you to your character on top of the subject?
She plays the moral compass of the story. She’s the one who asks all the questions the audience is asking, hopefully. I felt like she’s very young to be in that position. And the journey she goes on is what all young people have to go through, which is asking , what kind of person do I want to be? Do I want to be told what to do or do what I say I believe in? Or do I want to be a robot and push buttons because someone told me to? Whatever your line of work you have to ask yourself those questions.