Zendaya says she’s “not like other Disney stars,” but has a lot of respect for Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.
In an exclusive interview with Gossip Cop, the “Shake It Up” star opens up about the misconceptions people have about Disney Channel personalities.
“A lot of people expect things from Disney Channel stars, being that they’re from a younger fan base,” admits Zendaya, who believes that some stars are held to a different standard simply because of the time period they’re growing up in.
She explains, “[The issue] is adults being like, ‘Oh, I don’t like that!’ when they were doing that stuff [and] it just wasn’t televised or it just wasn’t displayed for the whole world. They just got to do it in their own personal life.”
Still, Zendaya says she’s “not like the other Disney stars,” and shouldn’t be compared to them.
“Things that they’re doing are not what I’m gonna do because I’m not them. We’re completely different people,” shares the 17-year-old. “You can’t really [say] ‘Oh because they did it, now [this one will].’ That doesn’t make any sense. ”
Zendaya stresses, “I don’t want to ever bring anyone else down for any decisions they made when they grew up, because everyone’s growing process is different, everyone learns differently.”
“We’re all human beings. We’re all growing up. We’re all different. We’re all going to have different lives,” says the Zapped star.
She’s also quick to commend her famous predecessors, noting, “I think I learned a lot of positive things. I learned how you deal with problems, and how to handle yourself.”
“I admire some of them because they have had so much success at a young age, and they continue to handle themselves and persevere through any kind of problem that they have, which I think is most important,” she continues.
As Gossip Cop reported, Zendaya recently left Lifetime’s Aalyiah biopic, and she tells us she isn’t sure if there’s another famous figure she’d want to portray.
“I think the beauty about being an actress is that you can transform into anyone. You can be someone that may not look like you or may not be exactly who you are,” she says. “Whether it be a character or a real-life person, I just want to act.”
She also wants to dance.
Season 16′s “Dancing with the Stars” runner-up has remained incredibly close with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, and joined him to perform in the recent one-day-only show,Sway: A Dance Trilogy.
“I wanted to start back dancing again and get back into the groove, since I haven’t been doing it for like a year. It’s been really fun,” Zendaya says of joining the production.
Of course, spending time with Chmerkovskiy is a bonus.
“He literally takes care of me like a little sister,” she says, pooh-poohing any suggestions of romantic chemistry when they hit the stage, or concerns about their age gap.
She notes, “For us, we make our [dances] more about fun and hip-hop and all that stuff. We’re not doing anything slow — rumbas, passionate tangos or anything.”
And she has fond memories of her “Dancing” experience, even though she and Chmerkovskiy came in second.
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t about getting a trophy,” says Zendaya. “It was about learning something and really doing well and succeeding that way — doing things I never thought I could do, really.”
But don’t expect to see the pair team up again on “Dancing with the Stars.”
While Chmerkovskiy told Gossip Cop he’d only want to partner with Zendaya if there’s another All-Star edition, in which past competitors come back for a second chance at winning the Mirror Ball, she is emphatically against it.
“I would never put myself through that again,” she reveals. “I don’t know how [the pros] do it twice a year. They are absolutely insane.”
Zendaya recalls, “It’s a very stressful process, and I don’t think people really understand that. Especially for me during that time, I [was] going to school and living life at 16. It was not easy.”
“I learned a lot but it was definitely a one-time thing,” she tells us.
Zendaya, who also released her debut solo album last year, will next turn her attention to her new Disney show, “K.C. Undercover,” slated to premiere in 2015.