Actress, singer and style star Zendaya is on the cover of Marie Claire‘s September 2018 issue and she looks fierce.
At 21, Zendaya has never been shy about using her voice, whether she’s calling the shots at Disney or clapping back on social media.
Here, she opens up about re-rewriting the Hollywood narrative and inspiring others to do the same.
On how Scandal‘s Olivia Pope liberated her to make her own decisions: “I call it my Olivia Pope gut. I just had to be in tune with that and be like, ‘Listen, whatever feels right, go after that.’ There’s something liberating about making decisions for yourself.”
On stepping out of her comfort zone, from Disney to feature films: “I’m coming from this very different world of Disney. Having been consistently on a TV show, I felt stagnant. Not having that anymore, I am being seen as a real actress, doing what makes me feel pushed and motivated. I don’t necessarily think comfort is always the best place to live in. I’ve really found the power in just doing what makes me happy.”
On creating opportunities for more actresses of color: “What’s important to me is knowing we [Yara Shahidi, Amandla Steinberg] are not the only black girls in the industry. We kind of have been painted as the face, and that’s not the truth. It’s important to have a conversation where we are opening the door to our peers and more black women who don’t necessarily look like us.”