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Zendaya felt ‘terrified’ shooting tennis scenes for Challengers

54th NAACP Image Awards

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