Zendaya spent three months training for her role in the upcoming tennis-themed romantic comedy, Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino.
Zendaya spent three months training for her role in the tennis-themed romantic comedy, Challengers. After rising to fame on Disney Channel sitcoms Shake It Up! and K.C Undercover, Zendaya is now best known for her role as MJ, Peter Parker’s love interest, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man trilogy and as Rue Bennett, a teenager struggling with drug addiction, on the HBO series Euphoria. The teen drama is responsible for making Zendaya the youngest recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Last year, Zendaya made her debut as Chani in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Despite having limited screen time, she will return for an increased role in the sequel due out in November 2023. Other than Dune: Part Two, Zendaya has another release scheduled for next year: Challengers. From Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, the romantic sports comedy follows Zendaya’s character, who gets caught up in a love triangle with two fellow tennis players portrayed by West Side Story‘s Mike Faist and The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor.
During a recent interview with Variety at the Academy Museum Gala, Guadagnino teases his upcoming film. The Challengers director praises his cast, especially Zendaya, for enduring three months of rigorous training for the tennis film. Read what Guadagnino says below:
She’s wonderful. I mean, wow. We edited the movie and we almost actually don’t use any of her double. She’s so good. They spent like three months working very hard. Everybody – technically, athletically.
Challengers Is A Different Role For Zendaya
In recent years, Zendaya has become known for her roles in the relentlessly explicit teen drama Euphoria, the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy, and the sci-fi epic Dune. Challengers is a considerably different role for Zendaya, as she plays a tennis player-turned-coach in what could be a very unique romantic comedy. Challengers should be more lighthearted than Dune and Euphoria, and it will allow Zendaya to step into the spotlight more than the Spider-Man movies do. However, the young star is approaching the project with the same type of preparation she would for any other role, putting herself through three months of tennis training. This just highlights her impressive work ethic.
Along with Zendaya, Challengers is a different project than what Guadagnino is used to. The Italian director’s recent works include the romance drama Call Me by Your Name and the horror remake Suspiria. His most recent film, Bones and All, is an amalgam of romance and horror. Guadagnino has now headed in a totally different direction with the romantic sports comedy, exemplifying his ability to work within any genre. With a committed young star like Zendaya on board and a critically acclaimed director like Guadagnino at the helm, Challengers should be an interesting project to keep an eye out for in the coming months.
Next: Euphoria Season 2 Proves How Great Zendaya Really Is