Zendaya announced her arrival in the Marvel universe with her scene stealing role in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) as Michelle, or MJ, her first feature-film role.
In Spider-Man: No Way Home we will see MJ and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) exploring their budding romance and dealing with the repercussions of the Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man being made public at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).
“Everybody around him, who cares about him and loves him, gets put into danger . . . As soon as they get to be in love, everything else starts to crumble,” Zendaya teased fans.
The California-born star, recently seen in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, was introduced to audiences when she was 14, playing Rock Blue in Disney Channel series Shake It Up.
She went on to guest star in many TV roles, released her debut album, competed on Dancing with the Stars and published a book aimed at her tween fans.
Zendaya (25) has never been shy about using her voice and platform to raise awareness about issues close to her heart.
After she was mocked for wearing her hair in dreadlocks to the 2015 Oscars, Zendaya eloquently clapped back, writing on Instagram, “There is a fine line between what is funny and what is disrespectful. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of colour that our hair is good enough. To me, locs are a symbol of strength and beauty."
When some fans were upset about her being cast as MJ, a traditionally white character, Zendaya let her work speak for itself and was awarded the Saturn Award for best supporting actress for her role in the film.
She’s also been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and the need for more diversity in Hollywood.
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Zendaya has been picky about the roles she chooses, saying she doesn’t accept every role she’s offered, and instead focuses on roles where the character has a story arc of their own and help her develop as an actress.
“It’s not necessarily that any of [the scripts] were bad or something like that. I just felt like a lot of the roles that I was reading, specifically female roles, were just like, I could have played them all as the same person, and it wouldn’t have mattered, if that makes sense. The best way to describe it is just like, they’d usually serve the purpose of helping the male character get to where they need to go, do what they need to do,” she told GQ magazine.
Zendaya has shared that she will reprise her role as Rue, the troubled high schooler in Euphoria (streaming on Showmax), although there’s no set date for that show’s return yet.
She’s described the upcoming second season as “difficult” and “challenging” in an interview with Teen Vogue.
“It's gonna be hard and it's gonna be devastating sometimes, but I think Rue really deserves all of that care when it comes to her character, because I think she represents a lot for so many people. And I hope to make those people proud with our depictions of Rue [and] where all the characters go. I think this season's not going to be easy, though. It’s not going to be a fun watch, I don't think. Sometimes.”
She will also play Chani in the second part of Dune, after many fans were disappointed by her super-brief appearance in the film – she was on screen for just seven minutes of the film’s two hour and 35-minute runtime!
READ MORE | Tom Holland on the highs and lows of being Spider-Man – and how Zendaya helped him to cope with fame
Zendaya and Tom Holland spent ages insisting they were just friends, until they were spotted kissing in July.
“There are many things, obviously, that I appreciate,” she told InStyle in a recent interview, referring to Tom.
“In an actor way, I appreciate that he really loves being Spider-Man. It’s a lot of pressure – you take on the role of a superhero wherever you go. To the little kid who walks by, you are Spider-Man.”
Off set, said Zendaya, Tom “is a fun time. Very charismatic, can make anybody feel comfortable and have a good laugh and a good chat.”
While they haven’t spoken publicly about their romance British-born Tom has also spoken fondly about his co-star, telling PopBuzz that Zendaya was his first celebrity crush. Sweet!
Sources: gamesradar.com, ew.com, insider.com, bustle.com, gq.com, cosmopolitan.com, teenvouge.com