Zendaya responds to ‘weird’ questions about kissing Challengers co-stars

Zendaya has called out the perceived elevated media interest in her kissing co-stars on the screen in a new interview.

The actor will soon star in the highly anticipated romantic drama Challengers, as a professional tennis player-turned-coach who is the focus of a love triangle between two friends and sporting rivals, played by Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor.

In a promotional interview for the film, Zendaya, 27, was asked her opinion on people asking her about kissing and intimacy with her co-stars – seemingly more than they would other actors.

“I feel like, when you do it, there is an abnormal amount of attention paid to it,” entertainment journalist Jake Hamilton noted, to which the Euphoria star replied: “I know, it’s very odd.”

“Do you feel like, as a society, people have forgotten that an actor kissing another actor is literally a part of your job? Or are they using it as an excuse to get you to talk about kissing?” Hamilton asked.

Zendaya quickly began her response: “I have no idea. I don’t know if it’s because they want it to be, like, a viral thing, I don’t know. But I have noticed that, with me specifically.

“I feel like other actors don’t- if it was somebody else here, you probably wouldn’t [have] asked that question. But yeah, it is a part of my job and it is a completely normal part of the job despite, I think, maybe other people’s perception of our job. But yeah, it is odd.”

Zendaya (X / JakesTakes)
Zendaya (X / JakesTakes)

She added: “Thank you for bringing that up, because I thought the same thing – I’m like, this is weird!”

Ahead of its release on Friday (26 April), Challengers has received hoards of praise from critics. For The Independent’s reviewer Clarisse Loughrey, the Luca Guadagnino-directed feature is a five-star success and “the most gripping sports movie in years”, with Zendaya’s performance particularly worthy of recognition.

She writes: “Challengers allows every slow-mo shot of Zendaya’s bouncing curls and her regal posture to further the argument that she could be the one to reverse the death of the movie star. But she grounds Tashi, too, when that hyper-confidence is allowed to falter for a moment, and something raw and ugly slips by.”

Elsewhere, in a recent interview with Vogue, the double-Emmy-winning actor offered a rare glimpse into her relationship with boyfriend and Spider-Man franchise co-star, Tom Holland.

Zendaya described what it was like seeing Holland, 27, become famous “overnight” after taking on the Marvel superhero role.