Zendaya: “Everyone Thought I Was Mean!”

The actress gets real about those #IntrovertP­roblems!


Zendaya is at the top of her game. She has hit movies and T.V. shows, a reputation as a fashion icon and is wellknown for being a positive voice of her generation. But even as her star rises, deep down, she’s not the kind of girl who likes the spotlight on her. “I’m a very shy, introverte­d person,” she admits. “[I’m] a bit of loner … I just like to stay at home and stay to myself, I can’t help it.”

When Zendaya was just a kid, she was so quiet that she had to repeat kindergart­en — she was too shy to talk to her classmates or teachers! For Z, acting was her one opportunit­y to feel comfortabl­e coming out of her shell. When the cameras were rolling, she could transform into another person who had way more confidence.


However, once the director yelled “cut,” she went right back to her introverte­d ways. And it started to give people the wrong impression. “In this industry, I had to learn how to do small talk and stuff, because I would kind of come off cold to people because I didn’t really know how to start conversati­on,” she says. “I remember my stylist was like, ‘You come off kind of cold. People think you’re mean because you don’t talk,’ when really I just was too nervous.”

Those nerves came from the pressure she put on herself to be perfect. In Zendaya’s eyes, staying quiet was her way of controllin­g the situation: If she didn’t put herself out there, she never had to worry about messing up. “I wouldn’t try anything,” she remembers. “I always had this fear of failing and not doing so well. I think that me wanting to control everything is just not wanting to let anybody down.”

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