“I think we made a really good movie, I think Hugh Jackman is the coolest and nicest person that anyone could possibly ask for, and Zac was such an amazing, I guess, team member. Because we actually, literally had to be a team together because we really had to choreograph all the arial work and be a team together and rely on each other so much. So, he was a great partner to have!”
I’ve added high quality images of Zendaya from her Material Girl clothing line campaign for spring 2015. She looks stunning! You can view the images by clicking the thumbnail set below, and watch a behind the scenes video.
Zendaya is on the cover of the February issue of Teen Vogue Magazine! I’ve added some photoshoot pictures to the gallery as well as the magazine cover. You can read some of the interview below, and to read the rest make sure to buy the magazine when it hits stands in February. I love the military-themed photoshoot, Zendaya looks gorgeous.
Even if you have no idea who Zendaya Coleman is—and it seems a pretty safe bet that most of the adult tourist crowd at Sarabeth’s (the bustling Central Park South restaurant that serves as the setting for the 18-year-old Disney star’s Teen Vogue interview) do not—you’d probably suspect, just by looking at her, that she’s someone. In sneakers she stands an imposing five feet ten, and at lunchtime her face is expertly made up; both her pink-painted nails and her jet-black lashes are improbably long. And if her attire—which includes a pair of slim-fitting gray sweatpants, a black hooded sweatshirt bearing a picture of rapper Tupac Shakur, and orange Nikes, which she kicks off almost as soon as she’s seated—sends a slightly different message, it’s one that serves only to underscore the larger implication: This is a girl who doesn’t need to worry about fitting in. (The gigantic bodyguard who’d waited with her by the host station is a somewhat more obvious tip-off.)
Among those in the know, Zendaya’s willingness to stand out is a much-admired quality. But that hasn’t always been the case: Back when she was 13 and first started trying out for professional acting gigs in Los Angeles, she says, “there was this kind of energy, particularly among the other girls, of, like, ‘Oooh, I’m going to get you.’ A lot of the kids who were auditioning had been doing it since they were, like, 2. They were these purebred Hollywood children, and I was this random chick from Oakland just doing my thing,” she explains. “They’re always onstage, and I was just so not into it. Like, you’re 12. Chill out. It’s not the end of the world. I’d literally sit there before auditions with my headphones on, listening to Michael Jackson.” Needless to say, it didn’t exactly help when she promptly nabbed a starring role in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up. “I think a lot of them hated me,” she admits.
Fortunately Zendaya seems to have had no trouble taking the haters in stride, especially given that she’s been busy pursuing her dreams at full throttle. It all began, Zendaya says, when she was a kid, accompanying her schoolteacher mom to her second job as a house manager at the California Shakespeare Theater. “My passion was always in the arts,” she says. “I was that weird 8-year-old who was into Shakespeare.” On show nights Zendaya sold enough raffle tickets to earn a free trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—which, she notes, she never actually took. And when the curtain went up, she recalls, “I had a routine. Everyone knew me, so I’d go over to the food stand and they’d give me a chocolate-chip cookie, a Snapple, and a veggie burrito, and then I’d sit in the back and watch all the plays over and over and over again.”
Her favorites included Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but she made her own stage debut in a more humble production: a children’s theater presentation of James and the Giant Peach. “I played the Silkworm, which means I didn’t have any lines—I might have said, ‘James, look!’ or something like that. But I was up there the whole time, reacting to things.” Zendaya was, she reports, an introvert (“When I was younger, my parents had to go to a seminar about shy kids”), and acting gave her a chance to break out of her shell. But it was still difficult to live apart from her mother, who remained in Oakland while Zendaya was shooting the first season of Shake It Up in L.A.—especially at the arrival of, as she puts it, “woman time,” which forced her to dispatch her clueless father to a drugstore in search of supplies.
Now, more than a year after the end of her first series, Zendaya is poised to conquer a larger audience. But she’s not quite following the path forged by fellow former child stars Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez; for one, she’s not ditching Disney at all. Instead she’s working with the network on her new show, K.C. Undercover, for which she serves, crucially, as coproducer. “It was going to be called Super Awesome Katy,” she explains, “but I changed it. I don’t look like a Katy, and I wanted something a little more mature. It wasn’t really right for the demographic that I’m trying to reach now.” Which is&? “Well, the majority of my fan base are young girls, and I don’t want to leave that world forever. But I also want to reach the preteens, the teenagers. A lot of college students watch the Disney Channel in their dorms, actually.”
Although a photographer has been documenting her every smile and twirl for the past few hours in a Manhattan studio, 18-year-old Zendaya isn’t too tired to sneak in a few selfies. Or, rather, she has enlisted her father, a former gym teacher-turned-manager to help. Hopefully, these behind-the-scenes shots will appease the actress-singer-dancer’s 4 million social media followers, a ravenous fan base with whom Zendaya always finds time to communicate — no matter how hectic her schedule is.
Lately, her days are pretty jam-packed. The Northern California native has been making a name for herself ever since 2010, when she landed a role on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up opposite Bella Thorne. Less than five years later, Zendaya (who was born Zendaya Coleman) has already released an advice book for tweens called Between U And Me, as well as a self-titled debut album that mined pop and R&B influences with great success. (Zendaya recently went platinum, a feat in a post-Spotify world.) She was the youngest person to appear on Dancing with the Stars (she was a runner-up), and is currently working on a new Disney sitcom. Yet as fast-paced as her own life is, on a recent visit to New York City, Zendaya admits that she doesn’t think she could survive in the City that Never Sleeps. “I could see myself being here for a month, tops,” laughs Zendaya. “I would spend way too much money. My sleeping pattern would be all messed up. There’s just so much available! Anytime I was hungry, I could go out and eat. At home, things close. You have to go to sleep.”
Home now means Los Angeles, where she lives with her family and Midnight, her giant schnauzer, but for Zendaya it all began in Oakland, a city that is changing like the star herself. “It’s a very inspiring place,” she declares. “It has a bad reputation, but honestly, a lot of creative people come out of there.” As a child, Zendaya immersed herself in Oakland’s artistic communities: She spent three years performing with the youth dance troupe Future Shock Oakland, honing skills that would later be of use in her music career, and she was a regular fixture at the nearby California Shakespeare Theater, where her mother worked as a house manager and trained conservatory students.
While most girls her age are flipping through teen magazines for prom inspiration and tips on college applications, Zendaya is sitting in the front row at fashion weeks and appearing on the covers of those very same teen magazines. As she fast approaches the cusp of adulthood, it’s inevitable that her relationship with Disney and its preteen viewers will change. Unlike the most recent batch of Disney-branded starlets, Zendaya plans on sticking with the company that gave her a start. “Selena, Miley, Demi — they’re all different and they all went different ways. Everyone has their own version of their career that they want to create and things they want to do and accomplish. For me, I obviously want to continue to stay in the Disney world and grow at the same time.” So far, growing within Disney means taking on more responsibility: For the upcoming K.C. Undercover, a show about a high school student who is recruited as a spy by her parents, Zendaya will star as well as co-produce. “Now I’m able to really have a vision,” she says, leaning forward with noticeable excitement. “I can say what I want and be assertive. I can have a really, really strong voice and presence on my own show and be listened to. That’s the coolest part. I have more control; I have more freedom to make [K.C. Undercover] something that I’m proud of.”
Zendaya isn’t the first Disney star to fight for a seat at the table — Raven-Symoné, a woman whom the young actress looks up to, also produced her own Disney Channel series, That’s So Raven. “I look to her comedically,” Zendaya says of her friend and mentor. “I think she is so funny and that, to this day, she had the best Disney show that was on air. When I met her, she was a genuinely kind person, and that’s what you want to see: someone who has grown up as a young star but still has a heart of gold and is very sweet. That’s the most important thing.” When asked about the controversy surrounding Raven-Symoné’s recent interview with Oprah in which the actress claimed to be “American, not African-American,” Zendaya, herself half-black, seems unperturbed. “She’s grown; she can say whatever she wants. Everyone has an opinion. Opinions are like buttholes,” she says. “Everyone has one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks. Let people live.”
Surely she wishes people would’ve let her live when she was recently given the chance to pay homage to one of her heroes. The Internet exploded with criticism after Zendaya was cast as the lead in Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, a role she later backed out of due to concerns about the quality of the film’s production. One of the loudest critiques was that Zendaya wasn’t “black enough” to portray the late R&B singer. Rather than hurtful, she found the assessments just strange and ignorant. “It doesn’t make sense,” she says. “Here’s how I put it: The first African-American President of the United States is half-black. So is he not the first black president? Is he just the first half-black president? Do we take that credit away from him? No. Whoever is supposed to play [Aaliyah] — whether they are half-Asian or whatever — it’s not about that. It’s about doing it with respect and integrity.”
Yet the young star doesn’t let any ill will get her down: “It’s just irrelevant. I have so much to be thankful for — why am I going to let some random person in Idaho kill my vibe?” Zendaya has much more to do: a series to lead and produce, a second album for which she is trying to woo Drake (“He has to know I’m obsessed with him,” she laughs), charitable endeavors, and soon possibly a project with fashion. “2015 is about showing my work, showing the things I can do, and continuing to have fun in the process, ” she says. “As much as I do, I actually love it. As long as I’m happy while I’m doing it, I’m going to keep doing it for a long time.”
I’ve added some images and screen captures of Zendaya’s visit to Ryan Seacret’s radio studio this month. You can view those by clicking the thumbnail sets below.
Zendaya took some time off from her tour to stop by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with her two friends and dancers Deja and Dominique. The studio was packed with fans of all ages who listened closely as Zendaya talked about life on tour, her time on “Dancing with The Stars”, and her new Disney Channel Original Movie “Zapped.”
Zendaya started out the interview by reminiscing on her performance at the Radio Disney Music Awards a few weeks ago. She shared the process behind choreographing the dance, which she said was inspired by Michael Jackson and choreographed by her dancer Dominique.
Zendaya told fans that she learned a lot of dance moves from her time on “Dancing with The Stars.” She said that her favorite dances were the Latin inspired numbers, and that the Waltz was the most difficult because it was so technical. Zendaya even admitted that despite her dance background, the performances were still challenging to her saying “I was never 100 percent until the night of the performance.”
At one point in the interview, Zendaya gave fans a sneak peak of her choreography from her tour when she gave an in-studio performance of her hit single “Replay” with her two dancers.
She didn’t just talk about music, though. Zendaya also talked about her upcoming movie “Zapped” that will premiere on June 27on The Disney Channel. The movie is about a girl named Zoey, played by Zendaya, who comes into possession of a smart phone app that can control boys.
Zendaya gave some inspirational words of advice as well when she shared how she overcame her shyness. “I just stopped caring what other people thought and did what I loved,” she said.
Before the end of the interview, Zendaya made sure to give everyone at Seacrest Studios an update on an upcoming project that she’s working on for Disney Channel. The pilot, that has yet to be picked up, is about a teenage girl, played by Zendaya, who lives a double life as an undercover spy. She also added that she hopes to get back into the studio soon, as she already has some ideas for a new album.
Everyone had a blast hanging out with Zendaya, both during his interview and afterwards when she signed autographs and took pictures with fans. Thanks for a great time Zendaya and we hope you come and visit again!