Zendaya and a promotional poster for Challengers. Image: Instagram via @JustJared

Zendaya and a promotional poster for Challengers. Image: Instagram via @JustJared

Zendaya opens up about first leading role ever in Challengers

Zendaya opened up about her nerve-wracking yet exhilarating experience leading the new steamy tennis film ‘Challengers.’

Zendaya and a promotional poster for Challengers. Image: Instagram via @JustJared

Zendaya and a promotional poster for Challengers. Image: Instagram via @JustJared

Zendaya, the Emmy-winning actress, has recently shared her candid thoughts on leading in the upcoming film Challengers.

She admitted to feeling nervous despite her seasoned acting career.


The 27-year-old star took to her Instagram to give fans a glimpse behind the scenes. She showcased her athleticism and camaraderie with co-stars Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, according to Daily Mail.

In her Instagram post, Zendaya expressed gratitude for the support she’s received. “This is my first time leading a film in this way so ya girl has been nervous. However, everyone’s excitement and encouragement have meant the world to me.”

The actress shared snippets of her training for the role. These included clips of her displaying impressive tennis skills and exercising on a yoga ball.


Challengers follows Zendaya’s character, Tashi Duncan.

Tashi is an aspiring tennis star who faces a career-ending injury.

She then transitions to coaching her colleague Art, played by Mike Faist, whom she falls in love with and marries.

However, complications arise when Art enters the Challenger Tour. He will have to compete against Tashi’s ex-boyfriend Patrick, portrayed by Josh O’Connor.


Zendaya spoke about the challenges of filming intimate scenes for the sports romance, as reported by Geo TV.

She highlighted the importance of feeling safe on set.

She praised the presence of an intimacy coordinator.

“We had an intimacy coordinator which was fantastic and very helpful because it was important that we felt safe.”

Zendaya emphasised the bond formed with her co-stars through shared experiences.

These included tennis practice and outings, which contributed to a comfortable working environment.


Her co-star, Mike Faist, echoed Zendaya’s sentiments.

He emphasised the significance of building genuine friendships off-screen, as reported by CNN.

“We were able to spend time together during rehearsals and beyond, especially with Josh.

We were able to get to know each other as people before we could get into the film.

We created a real friendship that created the basis of the film,” Faist shared.

Zendaya’s openness extended beyond her professional life as she offered a rare glimpse into her relationship with boyfriend Tom Holland.


Reflecting on their respective journeys in fame, she remarked, “We were both very, very young, but my career was already kind of going, and his changed overnight.

I watched his life kind of change in front of him. But he handled it beautifully.”

Discussing her approach to fame, Zendaya emphasised the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care.


“While I still feel that way, I also have learnt that I can say no, and I can say kindly that I’m having a day off, or I’m just trying to be myself today.

I don’t have to perform all the time,” she shared.

As Zendaya gears up for the release of Challengers, her honesty and vulnerability both on and off-screen continue to resonate with fans.

With her talent, authenticity, and dedication to her craft, Zendaya undoubtedly leads the way in captivating audiences and breaking new ground in her career.