“Even though Euphoria coming out was amazing and exciting, it was also extremely stressful. It gave me a lot of anxiety every week,” Zendaya told ELLE. “I already know after this interview is over, I’m going to spiral about it for weeks.' ELLEWIH
“I never want to mess up. I’m trying to be the best version of myself without overapplying pressure.'
—which delves into a generation of overdrugged, hypersexed high schoolers—centers on Zendaya’s character grappling with grief, addiction, anxiety, and depression. “Rue has such a darkness to her, but also an innocence. I have to be super vulnerable and sad in front of people. It’s weird, but cathartic in a lot of ways.”
Zendaya strips off an oversize hooded sweatshirt that reads “I Am a Voter,” which she found in her mailbox one day. Her playful, sporty style complements her easygoing personality. She fiddles with the $28 hoop earrings she says look dope. Even though she’s dressed down and without makeup for our dinner, her pinstripe trousers are the same ones she wore for the
was eight months of my life, and now that it’s done I’m like, ‘Fuck,’” she says, reflecting back. “You put your shit out there, and it’s a really terrifying thing to do. It’s out for the world to see—it’s so fucking weird.”
“You put your shit out there, and it’s a really terrifying thing to do. It’s out for the world to see—it’s so fucking weird.”
(with Tom Holland), and she debuted her Tommy x Zendaya spring 2019 collection in Paris this past March (the fall 2019 collection premiered at Harlem’s
But that trust also made her cautious. “I never want to mess up. I’m trying to be the best version of myself without overapplying pressure. Then I start spiraling,” she says, her cheeks flushing pink. Zendaya spent hours and hours with Levinson to help develop the character she was playing. “Rue is just a combination of my shit and Sam’s shit, and together we created her. I don’t feel too dissimilar from Rue. It didn’t feel fake to me; it felt like she was me in another version of my life.”
taught me a lot about myself. It made me more confident in my own abilities, because I doubted myself a lot.” Zendaya says that before the show, she didn’t have any work that pushed her or allowed her to be creative. “I was looking for something to prove I can do it,” she says. “
Zendaya takes a deep breath and exhales; this interview has the feeling of an intense therapy session. She points out that she keeps repeating the words “I don’t know” and apologizes. “I know, I’m super hard on myself,” she acknowledges. But then, without so much as a blip of hesitation, she tells me that she’s glad people admire her work. “People actually saying I did a good job at my craft...it’s like, ‘Damn, I did work hard. I’m glad you see that.’” She pauses a moment, squirming slightly. “I should finally own that; it’s liberating. I feel lucky.” As with most therapy sessions, she looks down at her phone and realizes time has run out. She hugs me and tells me she’s sorry if she seemed uncomfortable. Like everything else, it’s not so scary once it’s over.
Styled by Natasha Royt. Hair by Larry Sims at Forward Artists; makeup by Sheika Daley at SIXK.LA. Manicure by Betina Goldstein at Lowe & Co; produced by Michelle Hynek at Crawford & Co Productions.Read more: ELLE Magazine (US)
No One Is Harder on Zendaya Than Zendaya“Even though Euphoria coming out was amazing and exciting, it was also extremely stressful. It gave me a lot of anxiety every week,” Zendaya told ELLE. “I already know after this interview is over, I’m going to spiral about it for weeks.' ELLEWIH
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