Zoë Kravitz is speaking out about her battle to overcome an eating disorder ahead of the release of "The Road Within." In the film, Kravitz plays a young woman with food issues. The 26-year-old recently told Nylon it was "pretty easy" to get in that mindset, as she "struggled with an eating disorder in high school." Zoë, who is the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, says her battle with the disorder continued into her early 20s.
"I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18," she shared with Complex magazine. "I started with the eating disorder in high school. ... Just [a hard time] loving myself."
According to the interview, she feels it's important that she be open about her own issues with food, as it's something many women, especially in her line of work, are dealing with. Zoë told the magazine she felt a connection to her character and "related to her in a lot of ways."
"That's part of what actually attracted me to the role; I think it's really important to talk about body image and the struggles a lot of women have with food -- especially in the entertainment industry," she said.
Though her character, Marie, was someone she felt she understood, preparing for the role was no easy task. Zoë, who is already thin, was forced to lose a significant amount of weight to look the part of someone suffering from anorexia. She claimed she lost approximately 20 pounds for the role.
"Losing all the weight -- I've never done anything like that before," she revealed. "I put my body through so much, and at first it was really hard to even have a conversation because I was so lightheaded all the time. On top of just being tired, I had to try and perform, so it was a very unique experience."
Zoë told Nylon she tried to go about losing the weight in as healthy a way as possible though. Still, she admitted there is nothing healthy about being as small as she was during filming.
The actress admitted that the role hit close to home, nearly dragging her back into her disorder. She claimed her parents were "really scared for me to go back down that road." She told Complex that once she began losing the weight, she couldn't stop; Zoë reportedly lost so much weight that both her immune system and thyroids were negatively affected.
"It was f---- up, man. You could see my rib cage. I was just trying to lose more weight for the film, but I couldn't see: You're there. Stop. It was scary," she said.
Rather than fall back into old habits, Zoë claimed the film helped her face her demons head-on and "accept an insecurity." She assured readers she's now back to a healthy weight and that the role helped her to feel more secure in her own skin.
"I feel like something has left my body, like some part of me is gone now, something that was making me so insecure. And it feels amazing," she shared happily.
"The Road Within" is a remake of the classic German film, "Vincent Will Meer." It was produced by Troika Pictures and Coup d'Etat Films, with Gren Wells making her debute as the film's director. The film, which is slated to be released April 17, also stars Robert Sheehan and Dev Patel. According to Variety, Sheehan plays a man suffering from Tourette's syndrome who has been placed in a residential facility to seek treatment. His character falls in love with Marie, played by Kravitz. Marie is in the facility to be treated for anorexia. The site reports Patel's character suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder but does not state how his character plays into his co-star's love story.