Zendaya felt “terrified” while filming the tennis scenes for her upcoming movie Challengers.
In Luca Guadagnino’s new drama, the Dune actress plays Tashi, a tennis ace-turned-coach who becomes involved in a love triangle with her husband and ex-boyfriend, played by Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, respectively.
The 26-year-old spent three months in tennis training for the role and admitted to Elle magazine that it was scary pretending to play like a pro in front of a huge tournament-style crowd.
“The more I had to pretend to do tennis in front of a camera with an audience, the more terrified I felt. And I was not even using a real ball,” she said with a laugh. “I’m just doing the form and footwork and getting my swing right and doing it in front of a whole bunch of people as if it’s the US Open, and I’m terrified.”
Challengers marks a new phase of Zendaya’s career and will allow audiences to see her in a more “grown-up role” as a seductive femme fatale.
“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 shared. “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**k it.'”
The cover interview was conducted before Challengers was postponed from September to April 2024 due to the ongoing actors’ strike.
– Cover Media