Zendaya teases career after ‘Euphoria’: “I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life”

"From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me"

Zendaya has teased a brand-new direction for her career after she finishes playing teenager Rue in the hit HBO series Euphoria.

In a wide-ranging interview with ELLE, the Emmy-winning actress, who turns 27 in September, spoke about tackling more “grown-up” roles.

“From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me,” she said. “As I get older, you know, I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life.”


The actress is next set to appear in Luca Guadagnino’s tennis drama Challengers, in which she plays a former champion-turned-coach, who finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between two highly competitive players, portrayed by Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist.

“I felt like it was a good step into a more, I guess you could say, ‘grown-up’ role and into that next phase,” Zendaya said of the film. “It was a little bit scary to take on, which I think is a good feeling. To be like, ‘Ooh, can I do this?’ You could run from that feeling and stay safe and comfortable, or you can go, ‘You know what, fuck it.’”

Zendaya Euphoria
Zendaya as Rue Bennett in ‘Euphoria’ season two CREDIT: HBO

Elsewhere in the interview, Zendaya also addressed coming to terms with her growing fame, admitting she can no longer go out in public without being bombarded by fans and the press.

“After the last Spider-Man and the last season of Euphoria, there was a visceral change,” she explained. “Before, I could get away with going places and getting in and out. But in Boston, I would end up going right back home, because it was really overstimulating.

“Everybody would go hang out at a bar or something, and I’d be like, ‘I’d love to, but I think I could ruin everybody’s night. Because it’s just not going to be fun once I’m there.’ ”


With the ongoing WGA writers’ strike and Hollywood actors’ strike, it’s currently unclear when the third season of Euphoria will resume production, so it’s likely to be some time before it finally makes it way onto screens.

At the end of this year, Zendaya will appear in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, reprising her role of Chani alongside Timothée Chalamet and an all-star cast.

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