Zendaya here, Zendaya there: In recent years, the young American has been shining on screens, catwalks and red carpets, and can be seen absolutely everywhere. From her Disney debut to her crowning as the youngest Emmy Best Actress winner, to her modeling and singing careers, take a closer look at the Gen Z icon’s extraordinary journey.
She is only 25 years old but seems to have already had several lives. And above all, know how to do everything. The Beyoncé of the cinema? This is what we sometimes wonder, as Zendaya is able to switch from one register to another, and always with disconcerting ease. Simple supporting role in the first of Spiderman with Tom Holland, her performance had already marked the spirits so much that we knew she was going to share the poster with Peter Parker thereafter, in the Marvel blockbusters which entertained the crowds. But between these absolute hits in the cinema and the place it finds in contemporary pop culture, Zendaya is also capable of offering less mainstream, much more intense performances. First in the Phenomenon Series Euphoria, which sees her camping Rue Benett, a neurotic teenager, who instantly became the embodiment of Generation Z (grouping people born between 1997 and 2010). “Generation Z”. Z, like Zendaya. Mere coincidence? Certainly not…
Zendaya Coleman was born on September 1, 1996 in Oakland, California. And like Beyoncé Knowles, her first name is so cool that it’s enough to identify her. Zendaya means “give thanks” in Shona, one of the Bantu languages of Zimbabwe, where her father shares ancestry with Nigeria. On his mother’s side, the origins are German and Scottish. And it is precisely her profession that will allow Zendaya to make her debut on the boards (theater, not surfing): she is a theater director. So the young girl does like all Anglo-Saxons, and proclaims verses of Shakespeare in front of more or less passionate audiences, quickly taking a liking to them. In 2009, when she was only 13 years old, her career really began: we see her in an advertisement, then on the catwalks and in magazines. Because her size, her look and her face allowed her to very quickly become a model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy. But that’s not all: Zendaya can also sing and dance (obviously), so she also plays in musicals.
Zendaya’s debut at Disney
The opportunities multiply very quickly, and we find her in music videos, especially alongside Selena Gomez. The multi-talented artist is therefore logically spotted by Disney, who makes her the co-star (with Bella Thorne) of the series shake it up in 2010, on Disney Channel. His contract allows him to receive 60,000 dollars per episode. Knowing that there will be 3 seasons of the series, for a total of 75 episodes, we let you calculate how much Zendaya, then a teenager, was able to have on her PEL at her 18th birthday just thanks to the series …
An album and the finale of Dancing with the Stars
But the Zendaya machine, now that it’s launched, obviously isn’t going to stop there. Like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Disney muses before her, the Z launched into song, and released her first album in 2013, soberly titled… Zendaya, obviously. Just before, she had become even more popular in the United States, participating in the show Dance with the stars, even reaching the final. We would like to look for the little beast in all this perfection, but can a second place in a dance competition really be considered a failure? In any case, his album, very pop, dance and arty (with a production reminiscent of Katy Perry), a little in his image, already allows him to emancipate himself from his Disney image. And even if it is not the best known facet of his artistic range, the clip for his single replay has over 200 million views on YouTube. Definitely, Zendaya knows how to do everything, and the logical continuation could only bring her to the cinema…
Star of The Greatest Showman and Spider-Man
After appearing in TV movies and Taylor Swift music videos (Bad Blood), Bruno Mars (Versace on the Floor), or… well, Beyoncé (Lemonade), and have begun to build a solid reputation as a dramatic guest actress on the series Black-ishZendaya finds herself in her own Disney series in 2015 with Agent KC. But it was really in 2017 that her career changed: she then played in The Greatest Showman, the spectacular Hollywood musical, alongside Hugh Jackman. The opportunity for her to show that she plays as well as she dances and sings, before abandoning Wolverine to find Spider-Man. The same year, she is indeed on the poster of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel’s reboot introducing a new teenage Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland. Zendaya therefore finds herself having to play a high school girl when she is 21 years old, but no worries, she knows how to do it, without one being able to think that her character has repeated several times.
From Spider-Man to the Emmy Awards for Euphoria
Character far from that of the girlfriend in distress that the hero must save, MJ is immediately adored by the fans, and gives a new impetus to Zendaya. As if she needed it… But as if to cut through the fun of the Marvel universe, she agreed to play in 2019 in Euphoria, a new HBO series produced by Drake, broadcast in France on OCS. In her role as Rue, she bursts onto the screen, and in 2020 will thus achieve the ultimate consecration: at only 24 years old, she becomes the youngest actress to be crowned Best Actress in a Dramatic Role at the Emmy Awards. She is even only the second African-American to win this prestigious award, after Viola Davis in 2014 for her role in Murder. A new confirmation, if necessary, that Zendaya is not just a fad, but a new figurehead for an entire generation. Criticized by a journalist for wearing dreadlocks on a red carpet, she reframes it, and regularly makes herself the voice of African-American youth, not hesitating to take a stand.
Zendaya in Barbie but also as a rebel in Dune
Other signs that Zendaya is a modern-day icon? She has a Barbie in her likeness, her wax statue at Madame Tussauds in London, is the face of brands like Lancôme or Valentino, and is more often on the cover of fashion magazines than normal people appear in photos. in their own family album. Not determined to stop on such a good path, she delivers an intense performance in 2021 in the film Malcolm & Mary, a Netflix exclusive that it also produces. She then joined another franchise with guaranteed success, Dunes, and becomes the co-star of the first part alongside Timothée Chalamet, while she only appears… seven short minutes in the whole film! A reduced time which does not prevent it from being put forward on all the posters and during the promo. His role as Chani should be more important in the two sequels, fortunately for his fans, who are more and more numerous…
Nothing therefore seems capable of stopping Zendaya, succeeding in everything she does, and even managing to combine professional life and personal life: after months of rumors, the couple she forms with Tom Holland, the interpreter of Spiderman in the movies, has been confirmed, as everyone could see during the promo of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the huge third part of the saga. According to the legend of social networks, it was at this precise moment that she fell for the Englishman:
Despite all her activities, most of Zendaya’s career is expected to turn to acting over the next few years. First with the next installments of the films Dunesthen, everyone hopes, in a season 3 ofEuphoriaand in the next movies Spiderman. The Zendaya Generation is therefore not ready to die out, on the contrary: it seems determined to shine.
Sources: IMDb, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Today