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Zendaya's versatility is her superpower: HOLLYWOOD SPOTLIGHT

Zendaya as Chani in "Dune"


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Who is the dazzling young starlet?

Zendaya is consistently making major moves and getting things done in the world of entertainment and fashion. We dig deeper on this unique talent in this edition of Hollywood Spotlight profiles.

Zendaya, full name Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman, (born September 1, 1996 in Oakland, California) is an American actor, singer, and dancer who first gained fame for comedic roles on the Disney Channel and later transitioned to such serious parts as Rue Bennett in the HBO series Euphoria, for which she won two Emmy Awards. She is the youngest winner of an Emmy in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Zendaya has also received various accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world on its annual list in 2022. As of 2020, Jodie Comer had just broken Lindsay Wagner's record from 1977.

The actress has also been an advocate of Convoy of Hope since the Hurricane Sandy disaster in 2012. She attended Oakland School for the Arts but left to move to LA when she got the role of "Rocky Blue" on Shake It Up (2010). She said in an interview that If she didn't become an actress she would've been a teacher like her parents or a basketball player.


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When you watch her on “Euphoria,” where she plays a teenage drug addict, there is a deep quality in her eyes that draw you in. It's both innocent and mature at the same time. According to her drama instructors and coaches at the California Shakespeare Theater and her directors at Berkeley Playhouse and TheatreWorks, that quality was always inside her. Althought it didn’t fully manifest at first. Zendaya was once so quiet she had to repeat kindergarten, says her mother, Claire Stoermer. “She just sat there, and the teacher just kind of let her sit there.”

Eventually, Zendaya started auditioning for main stage roles, getting cast in “Caroline, or Change” at TheatreWorks in 2008 and “Once on This Island” at Berkeley Playhouse in 2009. “In she came, and I think she was 10 years old,” recalls TheatreWorks founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley, who directed “Caroline”. “I just looked up, and there was the most striking human being I had ever seen in my whole life.”

Originally attached to star as Aaliyah in the Lifetime TV movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (2014) but ended up dropping out of the project, according to her, due to the lack of production value, complications with the music rights, and it not being handled delicately considering the situation and in lieu of Aaliyah's family not approving of the making of the film.

Malcolm & Marie

Malcolm & Marie signaled a solid tranformation for Zendaya from child star to full-fledged leading lady. The story is emotionally powerful and sensual. The story stems from a singular argument over Malcolm's failure to thank Marie in his speech at the premiere of his film earlier in the evening. A film that, Marie argues, is based on her history with depression, addiction and eventual recovery to sobriety. Marie questions Malcolm's intentions and his authenticity as a partner. She realizes that she values mystery and that he does not. The film, which is one of the first Hollywood features to be written and produced entirely during the coronavirus pandemic, throws both stars’ acting abilities under the harsh spotlight and has led to huge praise for each of them, despite the movie itself receiving mixed reviews.


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Challengers - The Movie

Zendaya stars in the upcoming film Challengers, a romantic dramedy directed by Luca Guadagnino (the filmmaker behind "Call Me By Your Name" and "Bones and All"). Zendaya plays Tashi Donaldson, a pro tennis player turned coach. After her husband, Art Donaldson, falls into an exasperating losing streak, she trains him to become a world-renowned grand slam champion. Tashi enrolls Art into the low-level challengers event of a pro tour, where he finds himself going up against his former best friend and Tashi’s ex, Patrick.

Zendaya trivia

Besides staring in blockbuster films like the Spiderman: Home home series alongside now romantic partner, Tom Holland as well as The Greatest Showman, Dune, and Malcolm & Marie. Zendaya's got a colorful and fascinating back story. Here's a bit of trivia about her.

  • Zendaya has amassed an estimated net worth of $20 million, per CelebrityNetWorth

  • The name Zendaya means "to give thanks" in the Shona language.

  • The actress is an ambassador of Friends for Change, an initiative that teaches kids to make positive changes in their communities and for the planet.

  • She is of mixed ancestry with her father being African-American and having family from Arkansas. While her mother is German, Irish, English, and Scottish.

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