Zendaya has spoken candidly about how her rise to stardom elicited a lack of privacy in her personal life, especially in her relationship.
Between her unique vocals and captivating on-screen performances, the 26-year-old star is known for her myriad of talents. However, the recognition and increased visibility have brought about a forced acceptance of no longer being able to keep aspects of her life out of the public eye. When speaking to Elle, Zendaya said: “Parts of my life, I accept, are going to be public.”
The Bulgari muse reflected on the moment in her career when she realised fame changed her daily lifestyle. While filming The Challengers in 2022 opened her eyes to the shift, Zendaya didn’t notice an intrinsic adjustment until filming for the last Spider-Man and the last season of Euphoria wrapped.
“Before, I could get away with going places and getting in and out. But in Boston [last spring], I would end up going right back home, because it was really overstimulating,” the former Disney Channel actor noted. “Everybody would go hang out at a bar or something, and I’d be like: ‘I’d love to, but I think I could ruin everybody’s night. Because it’s just not going to be fun once I’m there.’”
And it’s been no better for the model internationally. On a recent trip to Venice – where she was photographed by paparazzi with her dog – normal activities were impossible to do without eyes on her. “I had this idea of, like, I can walk around Venice. No, I can’t,” she proclaimed. “I had to pick up his poo, and I was like, Lord, please, don’t take a picture of me picking up my dog’s shit.”
Zendaya continued: “There’s a picture of me holding the bag, but thankfully they spared the grabbing and the putting it in the bag part.”
For her relationship with the 27-year-old English actor Tom Holland, Zendaya has adopted a “you get what you get” mentality for her fanbase. She wouldn’t have met the new Spiderman lead if it wasn’t for her talent and notoriety. At the same time, the multifaceted A-lister doesn’t like the idea of having the intimate details of their relationship known to everyone. But she’s not going to avoid a connection and romantic experience either just because it’s difficult to keep hidden.
“I can’t not be a person and live my life and love the person I love. But also, I do have control over what I choose to share,” she confessed. “It’s about protecting the peace and letting things be your own but also not being afraid to exist. You can’t hide. That’s not fun, either. I am navigating it more than ever now.”
Zendaya and Holland met on set in 2016. The two quickly sparked romance rumours as they were increasingly spotted together, but it wasn’t until they were caught kissing at a stoplight in 2021 did the speculation have merit.
That same year, Holland spoke to GQ about how necessary privacy is in a relationship, even for a well-regarded individual like him. He said: “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world.”
Following the moment, the Dune actor addressed her desire to hide parts of her relationship while speaking to GQ. “The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own,” Zendaya added. “I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”