In so many ways, it feels like we’re hitting the reset button now, or maybe just “unpause,” as we start to consider what we can do again now that we are or are almost vaccinated; now that the wheels of the world are moving forward again, however slightly. Zazie Beetz had already broken through. Her star had already started rising — an Emmy nod for Atlanta; Deadpool 2; Joker — but then the pandemic hit and projects got canceled or delayed, and most people’s trajectories just kind of halted. So this is her reset moment, in a sense. It’s a cover that reasserts that she’s still very much present and ascendent, with another season of Atlanta coming, plus a Jay-Z-produced Western in which she plays Stagecoach Mary, the first Black female mail carrier in America. It co-stars Idris Elba, Regina King, and Delroy Lindo. I’m in.

The cover story is a nice, languid getting-to-know-you read; I had no idea her father is a German cabinetmaker, for one thing, and she touches on her mother’s struggles being a Black woman in Berlin in the nineties. There’s also this:

She draws attention to the climate crisis with a IGTV series called Zazie Talks Climate, in which she interviews activists, such as Mary Annaïse Heglar, a climate justice writer, and Patrick Houston, a climate and inequality campaigns associate at New York Communities for Change. Her longtime partner, David Rysdahl, came up with the idea for the series in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election as a way to diversify the climate movement. Beetz wants to use her platform to help people to understand the significance of community and why people of color will be hit the hardest by climate change—and to extend an open hand to anyone who is interested in engaging with the movement. “The climate movement can feel very white,” Beetz says. “I wanted people to see that there are so many people who look like me already doing the work.”

It’s good. Most importantly, welcome back, Zazie Beetz. Long may you rise.

[Photos: Adrienne Raquel for Elle; the May 2021 issue of Elle will be on newsstands May 4.]