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Zendaya reveals how she navigates life in the spotlight: ‘You can’t hide’

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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Zendaya always seems so composed, but at times even she experiences self-doubt.

In a new interview with Elle magazine conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike, the actress talked about her forthcoming film “Challengers” in which she plays a tennis pro. Zendaya trained for three months, but confessed to feeling self-conscious on set about her playing skills.

“The more I had to pretend to do tennis in front of a camera with an audience, the more terrified I felt. And I was not even using a real ball,” she said, with a laugh. “I’m just doing the form and footwork and getting my swing right and doing it in front of a whole bunch of people as if it’s the US Open, and I’m terrified.”

It was while filming in Boston in 2022 that she realized how famous she had actually become.

“After the last ‘Spider-Man’ and the last season of ‘Euphoria,’ there was a visceral change. Before, I could get away with going places and getting in and out,” Zendaya told the publication. “But in Boston, I would end up going right back home, because it was really overstimulating. Everybody would go hang out at a bar or something, and I’d be like, ‘I’d love to, but I think I could ruin everybody’s night. Because it’s just not going to be fun once I’m there.’ ”

Part of the attention has been on her romantic relationship with her “Spider-man” costar Tom Holland.

Zendaya said, “Parts of my life, I accept, are going to be public.”

“I can’t not be a person and live my life and love the person I love. But also, I do have control over what I choose to share. It’s about protecting the peace and letting things be your own but also not being afraid to exist,” she said. ” You can’t hide. That’s not fun, either. I am navigating it more than ever now.”

“Challengers” is due in theaters in spring of 2024.

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