Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

All of 20, Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing ac­tress Zen­daya is in no rush to grow older.

She says child ac­tors are of­ten in a hurry to "grow up" in Hol­ly­wood, but she points out that find­ing one's own pace and grow­ing up in the spot­light is not easy.

Her full name is Zen­daya Cole­man, and she was thrust into the lime­light as a hip-hop danc­ing star in the TV series Shake It Up when she was six. She later played a spy in K C Un­der­cover.

"It's never al­ways easy. But I will say I am lucky that I have a re­ally great fam­ily that sup­ports me and takes care of me.

“I also try to take my time and grow at my pace... Some­thing that hap­pens in the in­dus­try is that they (child ac­tors) try to grow up too quickly," Zen­daya told IANS in a recorded re­sponse from Barcelona.

"I am in no rush to be any older than I need to be. I just live in the mo­ment en­joy­ing ex­actly where you are. It is very im­por­tant," she added.

From Lind­say Lo­han, Amanda Bynes, Brit­ney Spears, Ma­caulay Culkin and Mi­ley Cyrus - there is a long list of child ac­tors who lost con­trol in the spi­ral of fame. Some had men­tal break­downs, some opted to go high on drugs fol­lowed by mul­ti­ple stints at re­habs and some ended up get­ting on the wrong side of the law.

Zen­daya says she is per­fectly fine with be­ing 20.

"When I turn 21, I will be ex­cited to be 21. When I will turn 22, I will be ex­cited to be 22," said the ac­tress, who grew up in a mixed her­itage, with her father be­ing an African-Amer­i­can with Arkansan roots and her mother with Ger­man and Scot­tish an­ces­try.

Zen­daya re­mains true to her iden­tity and roots - be it for her pro­fes­sional calls to give voice to peo­ple of colour through her work, or in her fash­ion choices like go­ing for Os­cars in a white off-the-shoul­der gown by Vivi­enne West­wood with dread­locks, or for post­ing unedited im­ages from a mag­a­zine photo shoot on In­sta­gram af­ter she got to know that her waist was slimmed down.

She says she tries to be the best of her­self.

"I think it is im­por­tant that I think about my­self and try to be the best me in front of my­self first so that I can be that for them. I think it is im­por­tant to never lose sight of that and to al­ways take that re­spon­si­bil­ity with great care."

Zen­daya has made her Hol­ly­wood foray with John Watts' Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing, a Sony Pic­tures En­ter­tain­ment film.

The film takes Peter Parker (es­sayed by Tom Hol­land) back to school and tells the tale of how he copes with his su­per­hero life (along with the usual teenager is­sues) with the help of some mem­bers of the Avengers (Iron Man and Cap­tain Amer­ica).

The ac­tress says what made her want to be a part of the movie was the fact that "she is kind of dif­fer­ent ver­sion of the fe­male char­ac­ter that we have seen in a su­per­hero movie".

Zen­daya plays Michelle in the film. On the ba­sis of the last line that she says in the film: "My friends call me MJ, ”many fans spec­u­lated that she will be play­ing the role of Mary Jane Wat­son in the next in­stall­ment.

Zen­daya Cole­man in a still from Spi­der­man: Home­com­ing

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