Zendaya shares what it’s like to work in the film industry and how she prepares for major Hollywood auditions.
Disney is one of the best platforms for any aspiring child actor to get their start in Hollywood. They are working in one of the world’s biggest entertainment platforms showcasing their skills to millions of people. Actress Zendarya, who started her career on the show Shake It Off as a teenager, explains that working in the film industry is filled with challenges even when she is given great opportunities.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Zendaya speaks about why she is still dedicated to her acting craft and the challenges she faced in the entertainment.
Zendaya explains that despite being known for many different things, she is currently focusing on improving her acting skills. She says, “Right now, acting has been a great outlet. It’s definitely been a process, especially because I’m coming from this very different world of Disney. Having been consistently on a television show, I felt stagnant. Not having that anymore, I am being seen as a real actress, doing what makes me feel pushed and motivated. I don’t necessarily think comfort is always the best place to live in. I’m kind of excited as I decide what projects I want to take on or if I want to produce. I’ve really found the power in just doing what makes me happy.”
Zendaya says she has received a lot of advice suggesting what direction she needs to go in with her career. But, she says she is committed to focusing on what she wants to do in her career. She explains, “There’s going to be a lot of different opinions and a lot of people telling you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do, but I had to home in on what Zendaya wanted and drive straight toward that. There’s something liberating about making decisions for yourself. A huge part of it was to take my time. I wanted to create who I was as a person outside of my Disney character.”
Even though she is a famous actress, that did not mean landing acting jobs was easy for her. Zendaya says, “There was a lot of not getting the audition that I wanted and often going out for parts that weren’t written for a girl who looks like me and just saying, ‘Hey, see me anyway,’ until the right thing stuck. Whenever I’ve been persuaded or trying to do something to please somebody else or because there’s pressure from people in general to make a decision, it always blows up in my face. So I have been in this zone of only doing shit because I want to do it and because it feels right all the way through.”
Zendaya explains that the role of Michelle Jones in Spider-Man: Homecoming didn’t seem to fit her but she ended up getting it. he recalls, “I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’—as they call it in the industry—’go ethnic.’ I remember making the decision to straighten my hair. I didn’t know that they were going to be more diverse in their casting. I didn’t know that I was walking into a situation where they were already breaking the rules. You get so used to having to break the rules for people.”
However, Zendaya says that has not always worked. She continues, “I’m an actress. We’ve all experienced getting the no’s, and that’s okay. I always say, ‘If you don’t get cast, it wasn’t yours to begin with.’ But there’s been a few things. I always tell my theatrical manager, ‘Anytime it says they’re looking for white girls, send me out. Let me get in the room. Maybe they’ll change their minds.’ And, honestly, if there’s a part that I didn’t get or that I really wanted at the time, shit always ends up working out.”