From The Grio / By Shanta N. Covingto — It’s Kind of a Funny Story sounds like the opening line of a joke. Instead, it’s the title of a quirky new film that looks at the very serious subjects of suicide and mental illness. The movie couldn’t be more timely with the recent spate of teenage suicides being covered in the news.
Adapted from the 2006 novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini; the movie follows 16-year-old Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) after he asks to be admitted into a mental health clinic. However, there’s a hitch. The youth section is closed and Craig is forced to spend five days in the adult ward. What ensues is a heartwarming comedy-drama about self discovery, acceptance and seeking treatment when needed.
Although the film focuses on Craig, Zach Galifianakis’ Bobby and Emma Roberts’ Noelle who are all formidable in their own right; the genius of this project is the ensemble cast. From Viola Davis‘ Dr. Minerva to Bernard White’s Muqtada; the purpose or pain of each character is made apparent without overwhelming the viewer. Equally important, what’s demonstrated is how common it is for any person to feel lost and in need of help.
Last but not least there’s the character Nia which is played by Zoë Kravitz. In this film Nia has her own issues, as well as being Craig’s object of desire. Kravitz plays the character as true as possible to the point where you don’t know whether to love or hate her for interfering at the wrong time in Craig’s love life.
Kravitz spoke with theGrio from the set of the film, X-Men: First Class which is due out next year. She discussed It’s Kind of A Funny Story, her film and music careers, famous parents and what the future holds.
theGrio: You play Nia who’s smart, beautiful and flawed in her own way. What drew you to the character and to the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story?
Zoë Kravitz: I mean the script is incredible and I don’t know if you’ve read the book but the book’s really good as well and it’s such a cool story. It has so many layers, you know it’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s charming, it’s sad, it’s deep. It has so many layers like a giant onion. And you know the people who are in the film, and the directors are some of my favorite directors working right now so that was definitely a plus. She’s nothing like me which is my favorite thing to do is to play something that I’m nothing like just because not only does it challenge me but it kind of gives me compassion for different people.