Zendaya and her Malcolm & Marie castmate John David Washington got together for a virtual discussion on the upcoming film. The actors talked about their age gap and why the Euphoria star is ready for more adult roles.
In the new film, John plays a movie director, Malcolm, while Zendaya plays his girlfriend, Marie. The black-and-white drama follows the characters as they return home from a celebratory night at his movie premiere. But, "the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple's love," reads the Netflix synopsis.
The picture faced backlash over the co-stars' significant age gap - Zendaya is 24 years old while Washington is 36 years old. Now, the former Disney Channel star shared her thoughts on the 12-year age difference and why she thinks viewers are struggling with it.
"Why do you think people were so fixated on the age gap thing?" asked Victor Cruz, who was interviewing the artists. "Because I've played a 16-year-old since I was 16," Zendaya, who is also a producer of the new film, replied. "You have to remember, also, people grew up with me as a child, you know?"
She continued, "So it is, it's like watching, I guess, your younger sibling. Now, you know, they've grown, and you're like, 'You're not ready for it.' So it's hard for people to wrap around the idea that I am grown in real life, you know, even though I do play a teenager on television, still."
Whether or not audiences approve of the 12-year difference between Washington and Zendaya, the Emmy-Award winner is ready to take on more adult roles. And Zendaya has certainly proved she's got the talent for it! Malcolm & Marie will be streamable on Netflix starting February 5.