GROWING UP FAST
something to be afraid of; it’s a beautiful thing.”
is adapted from an Israeli series of the same name and is executive-produced by rapper Drake and his manager Future the Prince.
Levinson most recently cowrote the acclaimed HBO film
about the fall of Bernie Madoff, directed by his father. And with quite the eye for upcoming young talent, he assembled a stellar ensemble cast for including Maude Apatow, Eric Dane, Storm Reid, Sydney Sweeney, transgender actress and model Hunter Schafer, and Australia’s Jacob Elordi.
Zendaya most recently earned accolades for her performance in
alongside Hugh Jackman, and will soon reprise her role as M. J. in the Spider-Man franchise,
While is a 180- degree shift for her, she is following in the well-trodden steps of former Disney stars who grew up and shook off their teen stardom, including Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. It appears couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
“I’ve been working straight since I was 13. I never didn’t have a job and I went through a phase after finishing with Disney where I felt stagnant. Nothing connected to me until I read the script for
I’ve never been so captured by anything in my life.”
Zendaya’s character is also the series’ narrator. “We follow it in Rue’s brain and the way she might process information. That captured my attention. In many ways it’s the way my brain works as well. I just felt so connected to her, even though we have very different lives,” she shrugs.
“For some reason I feel very similar to her. Maybe she’s like a little sister to me and she’s someone I want to protect. I want her to make the right decisions.”
Now one of the world’s most popular role models for girls and young women, Zendaya quickly showed she was much more than a singer who can act. She’s also a best- selling author, after the 2013 publication of her book
And to her credit, she’s unafraid to make bold choices, as evidenced by her recent Met Gala appearance where she stunned onlookers of the camp-themed event by walking the red carpet as an homage to her Disney days.