At 21, Zendaya has never been shy about using her voice, whether she’s calling the shots at Disney or clapping back on social media. For Marie Claire US’ September 2018 issue, she opens up to Janet Mock about re-rewriting the Hollywood narrative, inspiring others to do the same, stepping out of her Disney comfort zone, and how she deals with rejection.
She wears Max Mara coat and Chanel earrings on the cover photographed by Thomas Whiteside with styling by Joseph Errico. Hair and makeup by Larry Sims and Allan Avendano.
On stepping out of her comfort zone, from Disney to feature films:
“…I’m coming from this very different world of Disney. Having been consistently on a TV show, I felt stagnant. Not having that anymore, I am being seen as a real actress, doing what makes me feel pushed and motivated. I don’t necessarily think comfort is always the best place to live in. I’ve really found the power in just doing what makes me happy.”
On creating opportunities for more actresses of color:
“What’s important to me is knowing we [Yara Shahidi, Amandla Steinberg] are not the only black girls in the industry. We kind of have been painted as the face, and that’s not the truth. It’s important to have a conversation where we are opening the door to our peers and more black women who don’t necessarily look like us.”
On changing people’s minds and dealing with rejection:
“I’m an actress. We’ve all experienced getting the no’s, and that’s okay. I always tell my theatrical manager, ‘Anytime it says they’re looking for white girls, send me out. Let me get in the room. Maybe they’ll change their minds.’ And honestly, if there’s a part that I didn’t get or that I really wanted at the time, sh*t always ends up working out.”
On how Olivia Pope liberated her to make her own decisions:
“I call it my Olivia Pope gut. I just had to be in tune with that and be like, ‘Listen, whatever feels right, go after that.’ There’s something liberating about making decisions for yourself.” (source)
Click here to view last year cover featuring Emma Stone, here to view 2016 cover featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, here to view 2015 cover featuring Miley Cyrus, here to view 2014 cover featuring Blake Lively, here to view 2013 cover featuring Zooey Deschanel, here to view 2012 cover featuring Miley Cyrus, here to view 2011 cover featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, here for 2010 cover with Mary-Kate Olsen, and here for 2009 cover with Ashley Olsen.