Like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and “Driver’s License” singer Olivia Rodrigo, Zendaya got her start on a Disney Channel show.
Shake It Up was about best friends and dancers, Rocky Blue (Zendaya) and CeCe Jones (Bella Thorne, famous for different reasons), who got into various Disney-approved hijinks; the Emmy winner would later play the lead role in the teen spy series K.C. Undercover, which was still on when Spider-Man: Homecoming took her into another level of fame. The actress is now on Euphoria, one of the least kid-friendly shows on television, but she looks back at her Disney days with fondness.
When asked by Promising Young Woman star Carey Mulligan whether she thinks of herself as a “Disney kid,” Zendaya replied, “The thing is, I am. And to a degree, I am grateful for that. That’s where I started, and I learned so much from that experience. It’s just kind of been this slow progression, and I am happy that it’s all been to prove it to myself and not to anybody else, you know? I embrace it a little bit. It’s part of my heritage to a degree.” As is this hilarious-in-retrospect Kidz Bop music video.
Zendaya also told Mulligan that there’s still “a lot left to do” for the next Spider-Man movie. “It’s like running from aliens and things you can’t see. Part of that is kind of fun. A lot of what we do is escapism, just being able to play a teenager again,” she said. Spider-Man 3 (not that one, but this one) is scheduled to come out on December 17. For now.