Zendaya covers the September issue of Marie Claire magazine photographed by Thomas Whiteside.
On stepping out of her comfort zone, from Disney to feature films: “…I’m coming from this very different world of Disney. Having been consistently on a TV show, I felt stagnant. Not having that anymore, I am being seen as a real actress, doing what makes me feel pushed and motivated. I don’t necessarily think comfort is always the best place to live in. I’ve really found the power in just doing what makes me happy.”
On creating opportunities for more actresses of color: “What’s important to me is knowing we [Yara Shahidi, Amandla Steinberg] are not the only black girls in the industry. We kind of have been painted as the face, and that’s not the truth. It’s important to have a conversation where we are opening the door to our peers and more black women who don’t necessarily look like us.”
On changing people’s minds and dealing with rejection: “I’m an actress. We’ve all experienced getting the no’s, and that’s okay. I always tell my theatrical manager, ‘Anytime it says they’re looking for white girls, send me out. Let me get in the room. Maybe they’ll change their minds.’ And honestly, if there’s a part that I didn’t get or that I really wanted at the time, sh*t always ends up working out.”
On how Olivia Pope liberated her to make her own decisions: “I call it my Olivia Pope gut. I just had to be in tune with that and be like, ‘Listen, whatever feels right, go after that.’ There’s something liberating about making decisions for yourself.”
Cover: Max Mara Sweater | Chanel Earrings
[Photo Credit: Thomas Whiteside/Marie Claire Magazine]