Elia Kazan’s Granddaughter, Zoe Kazan Among NY Times Magazine’s Best Performers of 2020

NEW YORK – Zoe Kazan was featured in the New York Times Magazine list of the best performers of 2020. She “showed us the fierceness of motherhood,” according to the Times, in her role on the HBO mini-series The Plot Against America, based on a Philip Roth novel.

Kazan is the granddaughter of Greek-American director Elia Kazan who was born in Constantinople to Cappadocian Greek parents. He arrived with his parents, George and Athena Kazantzoglou (née Shishmanoglou), in the United States on July 8, 1913.

Zoe Kazan has distinguished herself in the role of mother in the HBO mini-series. In the early episodes, “Bess Levin herself seems a bit fainthearted, her quiet maternal capability overshadowed by her husband’s bluster, her sons’ anxieties and the political crisis enveloping the family,” the Times reported, adding that “by the end, it’s Bess who turns out to be the heart and backbone of the story.”

As the Times’ chief film critic A.O. Scott writes, “In Zoe Kazan’s hands — in the modulations of her voice, in her tiny adjustments of posture and gesture — the line between meekness and ferocity dissolves, and a Newark housewife takes on the grandeur of a character in myth.”


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