Zendaya is currently one of the most influential actresses in the industry. She is known to be the youngest recipient of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Rue Bennett in HBO’s Euphoria. Zendaya recently appeared opposite Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two, in which the audience appreciated her performance as Chani.

Zendaya as Tashi Duncan in Challengers

The actress’ latest release, Challengers, in which she stars along with Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, has been making buzz due to the captivating plot of the movie. Challengers opened to an impressive box office collection but according to reports, it has to perform well over the weekend to reach the success bar. Zendaya talks in an interview about taking up an intense project like Challengers with characters that she describes as ‘complex and complicated.’

Zendaya says playing Tashi Duncan sounded ‘like a challenge’

In a conversation (via AP Entertainment), Zendaya, who plays Tashi Duncan in Challengers, talks about her decision to take on an intense character. She said,

“Because it sounded like a challenge. Because it is so different from me. Sometimes, when you’re a little afraid to tackle something like that, you’re like, ‘Oo, maybe I should do it.’ I don’t want to walk into something and be like, ‘I got this. This is going to be easy.’”

Zendaya and Mike Faist
Zendaya says playing Tashi Duncan seemed like a challenge for her

Zendaya mentioned in her conversation with Variety that she had never seen a character like Tashi, adding that if she had seen one, someone like her was not playing it. The actress goes on to describe the movie

“Tennis is just a metaphor for a lot of bigger s**t. It’s a metaphor for power. For codependency. They’re using tennis as their device to get these things out of their system. It’s the only way they know how to communicate. There’s the script, and then there’s always another scene happening.”

Also Read: Against All Odds, Zendaya’s Challengers Makes Impressive Box Office Mark on Opening Day

The young actress was asked about the thing that attracted her the most about Tashi for her to say to Challengers. Zendaya explained that Tashi has been through things that have hardened her, but at the end of the day, that is who she is. She added that the character she plays has always been aware of her power and how she manipulates it over others, which, as she gets older, becomes a means of survival for her. The actress lastly added that Tashi Duncan is messy, but it’s at a time in her life where she can be.

The actress adds that she is grateful that she has a career where she can keep doing what she wants as long as she wants. Zendaya noted that she could be 80 and still make movies, noting that she cannot imagine the idea of a life that takes away the only thing that makes one happy or gives them power.

Zendaya explains Tashi Duncan’s provocative line in Challengers

In her interview with the NY Times, the actress was asked about a line her character says in the movie: ‘I’m taking such good care of my little white boys’. To which she explained,

“She comes from a different world and a different background than they do. Finally, tennis is her life because it has to be: There’s nothing to fall back on. She’s going to end up providing for herself and her family—a lot of things that I can personally relate to. That’s why it’s so devastating when it’s taken away from her.”

Zendaya and Josh O'Connor
Zendaya mentioned that the characters in Challengers are complex and complicated

Filmmaker Luca Guadagnino added that his secret agenda with his American movies is to show that America, despite the possibility for everyone to succeed, has a very strong class system. He clarified that he tries to showcase that subtly.

Also Read: “This is a lot of pressure”: Zendaya Recalls “Really Intense” Experience of Shooting Her First Disney Pilot at Just 14-Years-Old

The movie was released on April 26, 2024, and grossed over $6.2 million on its opening day, with a weekend ahead. The reviews for the movie have been positive, with critics and moviegoers stating that the performances by the actors have been phenomenal.

Challengers is playing in cinemas.

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