Zendaya gives a performance that is buzzy in Oscar-contending in Malcolm & Marie, the new Netflix film she shot in quarantine with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and John David Washington. In a recent interview with Shadow and Act, the actress talked about the experience of playing her age for the first time. While she graduated to more mature subject matter in Euphoria, it’s one thing to play a teen on an adult-oriented show, but it’s something else to jump from playing a teen for most of your career to playing an adult.
She explained, “What’s special about these characters is they were written for us, you know? And with us actually…literally only not in mind, but in the process as producers and as creatives in a huge way. And I think that Sam kind of wrote Marie not only just for me, but also to me and the woman that I’m becoming and growing into, I think in front of him. Although she is very different from me and she is also parts of Sam that were also I think hugely part of it [and] maybe why her name is my middle name, you know? But with that being said, I think everything…certain projects would kind of have their way of finding you at the right moments.”
The actress also noted that she did want to play her age after playing 16 for so long, adding that this even felt like a challenge.
“I have been playing 16 since I was 16 and I’m grateful that the right thing came at the right time where I was able to,” she continued. Because I knew, at some point I wanted to play someone of my own age. I want to be able to take that step in that growth the same way that I was able to do it with Euphoria and creatively push myself and do things that feel like a bit of a challenge. And so, this felt like just the right thing at the right time and it all felt like a story I wanted to tell and be a part of. It felt like it was going to be a challenge as well, which is special. We all enjoy things I think that push us a little bit.”
Malcolm & Marie is currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the full interview below: