From teen dream to badass ac­tivist, Zendaya is #killin­git. We got the low-down on grow­ing up in the pub­lic eye, her best dat­ing ad­vice and what she wants to do next...

Girlfriend - - CONTENTS -

Our cover star and girl crush

There are very few peo­ple in the world who are so fa­mous they can be recog­nised by just their first name. Bey­oncé, Adele, Oprah... you ged­dit. But our favourite It-girl is ris­ing through the ranks so fast she’s about to eclipse all the other sin­gle-named stars on her climb to world dom­i­na­tion. Yep, we’re talk­ing about none other than the kween of cool, Zendaya (her last name’s Cole­man btw – who knew!?).

Af­ter get­ting her start on Dis­ney’s sit­com Shake It Up along­side Bella Thorne when she was just 14, Zendaya went on to star as K.C. Cooper in

K.C. Un­der­cover. But far from be­ing sat­is­fied with be­com­ing a fully fledged

Dis­ney star, Z then re­leased her own solo al­bum and be­came a movie megas­tar. So far she’s graced our screens in Spi­derMan: Home­com­ing and The

Great­est Show­man – in which she sang, danced, swung from a trapeze AND got to pash

Zac Efron, but we’ll try not to be too jelly about that.

Oh, and did we men­tion she’s starred in music videos for Tay­lor Swift, Bruno Mars and Queen Bey? Is there any­thing this girl can’t do!?

But it’s not her in­sane tal­ents on the big screen that make us love her so much. It’s the fact that in a world so full of fake, Zendaya is all about keep­ing it real.

In 2015, she called out

Modeliste magazine af­ter they pub­lished dig­i­tally al­tered im­ages of her that made her thighs and waist ap­pear slim­mer.

“These are the things that make women self­con­scious, that cre­ate the un­re­al­is­tic ideals of beauty that we have,” Zendaya said. “Any­one who knows who I am knows I stand for hon­est and pure self-love.” Preach!

Zendaya has also be­come a pas­sion­ate ac­tivist, speak­ing out about so­cial is­sues like race and gen­der equal­ity. At the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, where she won the Choice Sum­mer Movie Ac­tress award, she used her speech to en­cour­age other young peo­ple to stand up for what they be­lieve in.

“You have a voice and it is OK to use it when you see some­thing bad hap­pen­ing,” she said. “So make sure that you stay ed­u­cated and that you do not let peo­ple tell you what you should feel.

Be­cause you are the lead­ers, you’re the fu­ture lead­ers of the world, you’re the fu­ture pres­i­dents, the fu­ture sen­a­tors, and you guys are the ones who are gonna make this world bet­ter.”

And Zendaya def­i­nitely prac­tises what she preaches. When she’s not post­ing goofy photos with her fam­ily and her adorable dog, Noon, she’s speak­ing out – she even clapped back at com­ments US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump made about po­lice bru­tal­ity.

And with 14 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and 52 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers (that’s more than Harry Styles and Camila Ca­bello com­bined!), the world is def­i­nitely lis­ten­ing to what she has to say. But our fave thing about her is that she’s just so damn like­able.

When she filmed her epic Lip Sync bat­tle with BFF and Spi­der-Man co-star Tom Hol­land, host LL Cool J com­mented on how ef­fort­lessly awe­some Zendaya was.

“She’s cool,” he said. “You can man­u­fac­ture fame. You can man­u­fac­ture pub­lic­ity. You can man­u­fac­ture songs. You can’t man­u­fac­ture cool.”

And hav­ing cel­e­brated her 22nd birth­day this month, Zendaya shows no signs of slow­ing down.

She’s now lent her voice to an­i­mated movie Small­foot, costar­ring Chan­ning Ta­tum, which hits the screens in Septem­ber, and she’s signed on to star in the thriller

A White Lie, which she’ll also co­pro­duce with Reese Wither­spoon.

We dare you to find some­one more impressive than her. Go on, we’ll wait. So we were des­per­ate to find out what

it’s re­ally like be­ing Z!

Q: Is there some­thing you don’t do or can’t do since you be­came a celebrity?

I don’t think there’s any­thing I can’t do. I think I’m more aware of my sur­round­ings. I’m more aware of what I do, but at the same time I’m pretty much a good kid. I’m pretty bor­ing. In fact, a crazy night for me is stay­ing up too late watch­ing TV, eat­ing too much ice-cream. That’s as wild as it gets.

Q: Is there any­where you’d like to go with­out be­ing recog­nised?

Oh! That, to me, doesn’t bother me that much. To me, I don’t get it crazy enough. I get it just enough. I think that’s be­cause I don’t re­ally walk in with sun­glasses, a lit­tle dog in my purse, and four body­guards. You know what I mean? It’s me and my friends. Usu­ally, if they see me, they do, and if they don’t, they don’t. Even if they do, I think they re­alise that I’m nor­mal and I’m a reg­u­lar per­son.

Q: What about dat­ing? Is dat­ing harder, now that you’re fa­mous?

I guess. It could be be­cause you don’t know what peo­ple want from you.

You don’t know if they like Zendaya or Zendaya. That’s the only thing, but for me, thank good­ness that I’m re­ally, re­ally busy. I don’t re­ally have too much time any­way. I get to work all the time.

Q: What was your first date like?

I wasn’t al­lowed to date un­til I was 16 years old. My first date was prob­a­bly su­per awk­ward. I don’t know if I even re­mem­ber it. It was prob­a­bly at the movies. With any­one it’s a lit­tle awk­ward, be­cause you don’t re­ally know how to have a con­ver­sa­tion with them and you’re try­ing to be cute, so you’re still try­ing to be all girly [laughs]. My num­ber one date ad­vice is don’t try too hard. Don’t get too dressed-up – be chill. Wear some­thing that’s no big deal. That makes you a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing and then they want to get to know you more. If you come dressed up, it’s like, “Woah, calm down, it’s just a date.”

“I think they re­alise I’m nor­mal and I’m a reg­u­lar per­son.”

Q: You had your big break with Shake It Up on the Dis­ney Chan­nel back in 2010. Do you miss it?

I miss the peo­ple. Af­ter time goes on, you move on to do dif­fer­ent things. I miss that.

Q: Do you stay in touch with the cast of Shake It Up?

Yes, of course! I stay in touch with ev­ery­one. The per­son I re­ally miss is Davis, the lit­tle one. He’s grow­ing up now and it’s re­ally weird. He’s 16 or some­thing, but in my brain he’s eight. So ev­ery time I see him, I talk to him like a baby. It’s prob­a­bly su­per ob­nox­ious to him, but he’s like my best friend.

Q: Be­ing a for­mer Dis­ney star, did you get a chance to meet any other for­mer Dis­ney stars like Mi­ley Cyrus, Demi Lo­vato or Se­lena Gomez?

Yes, I have. I’ve met all of them and they’re all great young women. It’s cool to see peo­ple who have been young ac­tors or ac­tresses, who flour­ished and do their own thing. They’ve all been re­ally nice and sweet to me, and reached out in some kind of way. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that.

Q: Who were your Dis­ney idols grow­ing up?

Q: You didn’t get to ex­pe­ri­ence high school like reg­u­lar stu­dents. You spent your se­nior year on the set of K.C. Un­der­cover. Do you ever feel like you missed out?

I don’t get to say I went to school ev­ery day, or that I went to prom, but I do get to say I went to a set and I know that amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I think I’m lucky to have the life I have, and I don’t think I’m miss­ing out on any­thing.

Q: Would you go back in time and do any­thing dif­fer­ently?

No, be­cause those movies, where if you go back in time and you mess one thing up, ev­ery­thing is all jacked-up. I would not want to do that. You don’t walk [down] the street one time and then meet some­one who’s like your fu­ture hus­band. I don’t want to do that [laughs]. So I’d rather leave my life how it is and just keep on liv­ing.

Q: What was your first ever au­di­tion like?

I was 11 years old and it was awk­ward, be­cause I was new and a lot of peo­ple

didn’t know me and the girls prob­a­bly gave me the stink-eye. I’m do­ing my thing, in my own lit­tle bub­ble. It was awk­ward, but I think I def­i­nitely had a dream of what I wanted to do and I kept go­ing, but it helps that I do what I want to do.

Q: Where do you see your­self five years from now?

Five years from now I see my­self, hope­fully, continuing to work. There’s so much I have left to do and I’m just at the be­gin­ning. I have a lot of years ahead of me.

Q: What would you say to the fu­ture you?

I would tell the fu­ture me to keep go­ing. You al­ways have to give your­self props, and I would tell my­self I’m proud of her. I think that you have to love your­self, and be proud of your­self and the things that you do.

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