Zendaya says young Black women are taken less seriously in film industry


Zendaya has opened-up about her experience being a Black woman in the entertainment industry.

The actress has teamed-up once again with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson for new Netflix film Malcolm & Marie, which co-stars John David Washington.

The movie, which was filmed in lockdown, presented an opportunity to collaborate in a way that Zendaya has not experienced before, something the actress explained is rare for women of colour.

“I’m grateful that he listens to me, because sometimes you can feel like people don’t listen to you, or people don’t take your opinions,” she said in a virtual Q&A.

Zendaya John David Washington Netflix Malcolm Marie
John David Washington and Zendaya in ‘Malcolm & Marie’ (Credit: Netflix)

“Especially being a young woman in this industry, a young Black woman in this industry, your opinion is not taken as seriously. Or maybe I don’t have the knowledge of film or the time or the experience, or whatever the case may be.

“But I’ve never felt that, not from day one with Sam. I always felt like my creativity and what I had to say definitely mattered inside the work, and I think this is like an example of that.

“Being able to have a creative partner that you can talk to, and go back and forth with, and there is no bad idea – and that’s why it was something I wanted to do so badly, because I never have had that experience as an adult, to be able to do something with that much dialogue and that much conversation involved.”

Opening-up about creating Malcolm & Marie, Zendaya further recalled: “[Levinson] had this brilliant idea that now that is Malcolm & Marie, and as soon as he talked about stripping things back and possibly shooting it in black and white, trying to create a skeleton crew.”

Levinson himself explained of how he came up with the concept for the movie: “I needed a catalyst for it: What’s a really terrible thing a person can do to their partner? Here’s the truth: I forgot to thank [Ashley Levinson, his wife] at the premiere of Assassination Nation, which was a brutal film to edit, and she was upset. I felt very guilty about it.

“Supposedly, we only talked about it on the car ride home. In my head, I imagined we’d had 1,000 conversations about it. I took that as the catalyst for this piece.”

Malcolm & Marie has already been getting rave reviews, with some suggesting Zendaya could be a strong contender for the Best Actress Oscar.

The full synopsis reads: “When filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya), return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple’s love.”


Source NME

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