Zendaya covers ‘Elle’, talks evolving into a more “grown-up” actress

ELLE Magazine/ Steven Klein

Zendaya is ready to step into the next chapter of her career. 

The Emmy winner opened up to Elle about entering a new risk-taking era of acting.

“From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me,” she said. “As I get older, you know, I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life.”

Her leading role in the upcoming film Challengers will see her in a new light. 

Zendaya joked that audiences are “more ready” than she is to see her play a cutthroat femme fatale, but she finds the career move to be a necessary one. 

“I felt like it was a good step into a more, I guess you could say, ‘grown-up’ role and into that next phase,” Zendaya said. “It was a little bit scary to take on, which I think is a good feeling. To be like, ‘Ooh, can I do this?’ You could run from that feeling and stay safe and comfortable, or you can go, ‘You know what, f*** it.'”

Despite those reservations, she knew taking on the gig was a rare opportunity. 

“What was important to me was that [the character] was unapologetic,” Zendaya said. “Sometimes characters who are messy and conflicted and wield power over other people are reserved for [actors] who don’t look like me, so when I get an opportunity to play a character like that, I’ma take it!”

Elle‘s September 2023 issue featuring Zendaya hits newsstands nationwide on August 29.

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