She’s danced with the stars, nabbed a Primetime Emmy, guest-judged on the 15th season of Project Runway, collaborated with Lancôme and Tommy Hilfiger and recently sat down with When We All Vote founder and former First Lady Michelle Obama. From her down-home start in community theater in Orinda, California, and her early years with Disney, Zendaya has emerged as an influencer, celebrated actress, red-carpet fashionista and voter-registration activist.
“I've said it before, and I'll say it again,” Zendaya told Michelle Obama on her Instagram Live “Registered and Ready” event, “I'm very inspired by my peers out in the streets doing good work and I think we should all honor that (with our vote in 2020). All the history that has gone into making sure that our vote counts, it matters. Now is as important a time as any to make sure that your voice is heard.”
At press time, her latest Instagram video, “Just a couple of voters dropping off their ballots”, had 6.6 million views and nearly 5,000 comments in four days’ time. Eighty million Instagram users follow her every move, post and video. The pressure can be intense. “Here’s the thing—I can genuinely say that I’m not the same person I was a year ago. As my social platforms grew, I realized that my voice was so much more important than I had originally thought,” she said. “I think if every young person understood the power of their voice, things would be a lot different. And it’s becoming more popular to be outspoken. If people know your name, they should know it for a reason.”
For “The Greatest Showman”, Zendaya learned the art of the trapeze. For Dancing with the Stars, she paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy and finished runner-up in a strong field of contestants. For Lancome’s Idole campaign, she rode a horse effortlessly through the streets and up the stairs of Los Angeles. Donning both some killer boots and a long, flowy dress, she showed off her newly acquired riding skills for a glorious 45 seconds.
To accomplish the Lancôme video concept, Zendaya perfectly positioned herself atop a massive white horse as she encouraged the horse to a steady stride across the now demolished 6th Street Bridge on the east side of Los Angeles. She made her way down to the Los Angeles River before finding herself in the middle of traffic on a busy day in downtown. As the afternoon sun faded, she trekked through canyon roads, which led her up to an incredible vantage point overlooking the City of Angels.
Fresh off her underdog Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for HBO’s “Euphoria”, the network said that “Euphoria” will return for not one, but two, special episodes that are intended to bridge the gap between the successful first season and the second, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The drama role of Rue Bennett in “Euphoria”, a recovering, teenage drug addict struggling to find her place in the world, which Zendaya also narrates, comes on the heels of her other commercial successes: the Daya clothing line, her IDOLE campaign for Lancôme and her role in “The Greatest Showman” alongside Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, for which Variety praised her on-screen chemistry with Efron.
HBO said the first of the two planned episodes of the series will air Sunday, December 6. The first bonus episode, titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” follows Rue as she celebrates Christmas. It was written and directed by series creator Sam Levinson and also stars Colman Domingo, who appeared in Season 1. Both episodes were produced under COVID-19 guidelines.