Zendaya Is Grateful For Her ‘Disney Kid’ Past: ‘I Learned So Much’



Zendaya is a highly sought-after award-winning actor in Hollywood who has worked on a number of acclaimed series and films, but she’ll never forget her Disney Channel past. 

The actor recently discussed her Disney origins during a video conversation with Carey Mulligan on Variety’s “Actors on Actors.”

After the two stars discussed some of their acting processes ― in which Zendaya talked about sometimes feeling particularly aware of her past acting style as a “Disney kid” ― Mulligan said to the “Euphoria” actor: “You surely can’t think of yourself as the ‘Disney kid’ now.”

“You know the thing is I am, and to a degree I’m grateful for that,” Zendaya responded. “That’s where I started and I learned so much from that experience. And I’m just grateful that … it’s just kind of been this slow progression and I’m just taking my time.” 

“I’m happy that it’s all been kind of to prove it to myself and not to anybody else,” the actor added. (See the full conversation below.)

Zendaya, 24, starred as Rocky Blue at age 13 in Disney’s hit series “Shake It Up.” Her early career included work on Disney movies “Frenemies” and “Zapped.” She also released a number of songs and music videos as a teenager, including her 2011 single “Swag It Out.” 

And in the years since, the actor, who stars as MJ in Marvel’s latest Spider-Man films, has continued to prove that her acting range has no bounds.

Zendaya won an Emmy in September for her portrayal of Rue, a teenager battling a drug addiction, in HBO’s “Euphoria.” She became the youngest person in history to win in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

The actor stars in a new black-and-white film alongside John David Washington, “Malcolm & Marie,” which is set to be released on Netflix on Feb. 5.

Elsewhere in her appearance on “Actors on Actors,” Zendaya talked about working with “Euphoria” and “Malcolm & Marie” director Sam Levinson, saying she was surprised when he sought her out for the role of Rue. 

“Before Euphoria, technically I was still on Disney Channel,” Zendaya said.

She later added, “I think there is something to that kind of faith ― or already seeing something in me that I maybe knew was there but I didn’t ever have the opportunity to explore.”



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