Zendaya Opens Up About Being A Child Star & Becoming Her Family’s Breadwinner At A Young Age: ‘I Don’t Know How Much Of A Choice I Had’


Zendaya Opens Up About Being A Child Star & Becoming Her Family’s Breadwinner At A Young Age: ‘I Don’t Know How Much Of A Choice I Had’

TV and movie star Zendaya recently shared some insight on what it was like growing up in the spotlight.

The actress spoke about the topic during a recent British Vogue feature where she reflected on the childhood sacrifices she made in favor of acting and how that shaped who she is now as an adult.

The 27-year-old was promoting her new film Challengers when an interviewer asked her thoughts about child stardom. In response, Zendaya stated:

“I don’t know how much of a choice I had…I have complicated feelings about kids and fame and being in the public eye, or being a child actor.”

She continued:

“We’ve seen a lot of cases of it being detrimental…I think only now, as an adult, am I starting to go, Oh, okay, wait a minute: I’ve only ever done what I’ve known, and this is all I’ve known.”

As you may know, Zendaya took over the Disney Channel scene in 2010 after being cast on the hit series Shake It Up at just 14 years old. She continued to star in different projects and took her career to a new height when she landed her breakout role of MJ in the 2017 blockbuster Spiderman: Homecoming, alongside her now beaux Tom Holland.

Zendaya, Tom Holland

Despite her success, Zendaya went on to state in the interview that there are some typical teenage experiences she wishes she could’ve had younger. The entertainer said she’s currently in her “angsty teenager phase” because she didn’t have time to explore that in the past. She added:

“I felt like I was thrust into a very adult position: I was becoming the breadwinner of my family very early, and there was a lot of role-reversal happening, and just kind of becoming grown, really.” 


She continued:

“Now, when I have these moments in my career — like, my first time leading a film that’s actually going to be in a theater — I feel like I shrink, and I can’t enjoy all the things that are happening to me…I’m very tense, and I think that I carry that from being a kid and never really having an opportunity to just try sh*t…And I wish I went to school.”

Zendaya’s career was propelled even further following the hit HBO series Euphoria in which she plays a drug addicted teen named Rue. In case you’re unfamiliar, the high school drama broke several of the network’s streaming records and earned Zendaya two prestigious Golden Globe Awards. Her newest movie role, however, presents the actress with an interesting opportunity to shed her youthful persona as her Challengers character Tashi is based on a woman in her early 30s.

Zendaya in Challengers

The movie is set to hit theaters on April 26th.


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Authored by: Kay Johnson