Child actors try to grow up too quickly in Hollywood: ‘Spider-Man’ actress Zendaya

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By Sugandha Rawal

New Delhi–All of 20, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actress Zendaya is in no rush to grow older. She says child actors are often in a hurry to “grow up” in Hollywood, but she points out that finding one’s own pace and growing up in the spotlight is not easy.

Her full name is Zendaya Coleman, and she was thrust into the limelight as a hip-hop dancing star in the TV series “Shake It Up” when she was six. She later played a spy in “K.C. Undercover”.

“It’s never always easy. But I will say I am lucky that I have a really great family that supports me and takes care of me. I also try to take my time and grow at my pace… Something that happens in the industry is that they (child actors) try to grow up too quickly,” Zendaya, 20, told IANS in a recorded response from Barcelona.

“I am in no rush to be any older than I need to be. I just live in the moment enjoying exactly where you are. It is very important,” she added.


From Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, Macaulay Culkin and Miley Cyrus — there is a long list of child actors who lost control in the spiral of fame. Some had mental breakdowns, some opted to go high on drugs followed by multiple stints at rehabs and some ended up getting on the wrong side of the law.

Zendaya says she is perfectly fine with being 20.

“When I turn 21, I will be excited to be 21. When I will turn 22, I will be excited to be 22,” said the actress, who grew up in a mixed heritage, with her father being an African-American with Arkansan roots and her mother with German and Scottish ancestry.

Zendaya remains true to her identity and roots — be it for her professional calls to give voice to people of colour through her work, or in her fashion choices like going for Oscars in a white off-the-shoulder gown by Vivienne Westwood with dreadlocks, or for posting unedited images from a magazine photo shoot on Instagram after she got to know that her waist was slimmed down.

She says she tries to be the best of herself.

“I think it is important that I think about myself and try to be the best me in front of myself first so that I can be that for them. I think it is important to never lose sight of that and to always take that responsibility with great care.”

Zendaya has made her Hollywood foray with John Watts’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, a Sony Pictures Entertainment film which released in India last month.

The film takes Peter Parker (essayed by Tom Holland) back to school and tells the tale of how he copes with his superhero life (along with the usual teenager issues) with the help of some members of the “Avengers” (Iron Man and Captain America).

The actress says what made her want to be a part of the movie was the fact that “she is kind of different version of the female character that we have seen in a superhero movie”.

Zendaya plays Michelle in the film. On the basis of the last line that she says in the film: “My friends call me MJ”, many fans speculated that she will be playing the role of Mary Jane Watson in the next installment.

But she says she “is not the love interest or the girlfriend or anything like that. She is like a distant friend of Peter”. (IANS)


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