Zendaya has achieved tremendous success since her young career but she will always be known as a “Disney kid”. The actress has revealed she is fine with that.
Actresses like Miley Cyrus, Bella Thorne, have tried to notably distance themselves from the title. They have wanted to be known for their other accomplishments, however, Zendaya is not trying to do that. The actress feels that it is something she should be proud of.
In a recent discussion with Variety Actors on Actors, she sat down with Promising Young Woman actress Carey Mulligan. She discussed how she still thinks she is a “Disney kid”. Even after winning an Emmy for her remarkable performance as Rue in Euphoria, she thinks of herself as a Disney kid even now.
Zendaya explained, “You surely can’t think of yourself as a Disney kid now. The thing is, I am. And to a degree, I am grateful for that. That’s where I started, and I learned so much from that experience.” The actress shared that it has been this slow progression and she is happy that it has all been to prove it to herself and not to anybody else.
She said, “It’s just kind of been this slow progression, and I am happy that it’s all been to prove it to myself and not to anybody else, you know? I embrace it a little bit. It’s part of my heritage to a degree.”
“I’ve always felt that I could bring things to the table”
However, Zendaya admitted to being worried about the perceived limitations it places on her career. She explained her shock over being cast as Rue in Euphoria. The actress noted that she started out as a teen in Disney Channel’s Shake It Up but the show’s director, Sam Levinson thought she could play Rue perfectly.
As Zendaya put it, “He must have seen something in me.” She further revealed how Sam’s confidence in her acting abilities pushed her to take the risk and play Rue. It was one of the things she would have been apprehensive about because of her start in Disney. The actress said she felt that she could bring things to the table.
She said, “I’ve always felt that I could bring things to the table: that I could be creative and free to try things, and put out bad ideas,” she explained. “Because of the Disney kid thing, I get scared of that kind of thing.” Carey also echoed Zendaya’s feelings as she said how appearances have affected the roles she has taken on as well.
The actress was recently criticized for her appearance in Promising Young Woman as a Variety critic who said that she wore “pickup-bait hear like bad drag”. The critic also wrote that Margot Robbie, who is also the producer of the movie, would have been a better pick for the character. He described the role as a “many-layered apparent femme fatale”.
“And I think we need to see real women portrayed on screen”-Carey
However, later on, Variety apologized but Carey said she was concerned because of the impact those comments can have on women as a whole. “But it stuck with me because I think it’s these kinds of everyday moments that add up—that means that we start to edit the way that women appear on the screen, and we want them to look a certain way.”
Carey further added, “We want to airbrush them, and we want to make them look perfect. Or we want to edit the way that they work, the way they move, and the way that they think and behave,” she explained. “And I think we need to see real women portrayed on screen and in all of their complexity.”