Zendaya Discusses ‘Heavy Responsibility’ in Helping to ‘Make Room’ for a Lot of Black Creatives
The ‘Euphoria’ star opens up about being a positive role model to her young fans when sitting down with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Janelle Monae, Helena Bonham Carter and Rose Byrne.
AceShowbiz –Zendaya is very well aware of her responsibility as a young black woman in Hollywood. The 23-year-old star sat down with fellow actresses Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Helena Bonham Carter, Rose Byrne and Janelle Monae for The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actress Roundtable, and opened up about her contribution in the push for a change within the industry.
When asked about her past request to be put up for even the part that calls for a white girl, the “Euphoria” star pointed out at her privilege as a light-skinned woman as she referred to her character Rue Bennett which was created by Sam Levinson based on his experience as a white man struggling with addiction. “I think that’s been a choice for myself,” she explained.
Noting that she wants to make sure she is “not taking up space where [she doesn’t] need to”, the actress elaborated, “I’m very grateful and hopefully I’ll be in a space like these ladies where I can create things and make space for women who look like me and women who don’t look like me. That’s the ultimate goal, to make room, [because] for a lot of black creatives, it’s not a lack of talent but a lack of opportunity.”
During the chat, the “Spider-Man: Far from Home” actress also talked about the pressure of being a positive role model to many young fans. “I have a heavy responsibility on my shoulders, but I’m appreciative for that because with that there’s a lot of good that I can do and I know who is watching,” she stated.
The former cast member of “Shake It Up” went on to share, “Now, more than ever, specifically with Black Lives Matter and everything, I feel an obligation to make sure that I’m aware and putting out the right things and in line with organizers and people who are on the ground.”
Asked about her statement of feeling not having room to make a mistake, Zendaya elaborated, “Being a young Disney actor, that’s one level, being a young Black woman is one level, and then being very hard on myself is another level. It’s also just a personal fear. I want to do a good job, and sometimes that can cause you to be fearful of things.”
“But I will say that there’s something that happens when a special character comes along, for me at least, and those fears melt away. They don’t come back until it starts airing, which is when I started to get a little scared again,” she continued. “But now, I’m excited to go back because the motivation is to work harder and become a better actress. I just want to get better.”
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