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Zoe Kazan on director grandfather Elia Kazan's blacklist legacy

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PASADENA, Calif. – For actress Zoe Kazan, it can sometimes be impossible to separate working in Hollywood and her family life. 

Kazan will soon co-star in HBO’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2004 novel “The Plot Against America,” an alternate history story in which Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, leading to a rise of fascism and anti-Semitism in the U.S. 

The show has brought Kazan’s own family history into the conversation. The actress has long been reluctant to address the legacy of her grandfather, Elia Kazan, the celebrated director of films like “East of Eden” and “On the Waterfront.” The director drew deep criticism from Hollywood in the mid-20th century (and long after) for cooperating with Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee during the Hollywood blacklist era, and naming names in the film industry, some of whom were Jewish. 

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