25-year-old actress Zendaya has made a name for herself in recent years among the most talented young stars working today. Following her childhood career on Disney Channel, Zendaya has recently starred as love interest MJ in Tom Holland's Spider-Man trilogy, Rue Bennett on HBO Max's high school drama Euphoria, and is now playing Chani in the Dune franchise.
Given the immense popularity of all three projects, combined with her real-world relationship with Holland, Zendaya is among the most widely discussed actresses today. As has recently proven to be the case with other modern stars - such as John Krasinski and Bradley Cooper - the actress has long expressed her interest in starting a career behind the camera as a director.
Now, Zendaya has revealed when she should be making her directorial debut, and how previous plans for it fell apart during Euphoria Season 2.
Spider-Man's Zendaya Shares Directorial Debut Plans
Spider-Man actress Zendaya recently spoke to Vogue and revealed the project that will likely serve as her directorial debut. When asked when she will direct an episode of HBO Max's Euphoria, in which she plays high school drug addict Rue Bennett, Zendaya confirmed she was unable to direct during Season 2 due to time constraints, but will "probably" helm an episode next season:
“It’s funny. I was actually supposed to direct Episode 6, but then I had to act in it. I didn’t have enough time, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to this time around. I wanted to have enough time to do it the right way. So, next season, probably."
The popular actress was later asked where she hopes to be in ten years, and while working in happiness is her main goal, Zendaya aspires to be directing:
“My goodness, in 10 years… Hopefully, happy. My aim is to be doing things that make me happy and bring me joy. So right now that’s what I get to do currently, which i get to act. And that brings me a lot of joy… If there was ever a time where that didn’t bring me that satisfaction, I would be glad to switch to something else. And whatever that is, I don’t know. Hopefully directing, (winks) you know? But who actually knows, you know?"
This isn't the first time that Zendaya has shown an interest in directing, as she has previously talked about wanting to break into the field and how she has been learning from those around her.
Speaking to Vogue in a previous interview from October 2021, Zendaya shared her desire to become a director as she continues "learning every day." The actress also aspires for the leads of all her films to be black women, as she sees art as "a huge catalyst for change:"
"If I ever do become a filmmaker, I know that the leads of my films will always be black women. I gotta hurry up and figure out how to f***ing become a director, man. I’m trying, I’m learning every day, I really am. There’s so much I want to do."
Discussing her work on Spider-Man: No Way Home last year with Entertainment Weekly, Zendaya revealed director Jon Watts allowed her to be "literally behind him all the time, asking questions and learning from him:"
"Jon [Watts] is amazing. He’s so, so great at his job. I think he cares so much about Spider-Man, but he also cares about all the characters, and you feel that. Like the attention to detail, I remember when they were building part of MJ’s room, he let me come in and like pick artists that I like and let me basically use my own photography in the thing, and then he picked all the books that are in the back of her shelves. And I remember him going up and being like, ‘I don’t want that to be… I want this one and bringing in this one,’ and, ‘Make sure this picture is seen…’ He’s so thoughtful and detail-oriented… and it’s beautiful to watch. And I’m really grateful that this time around, he was cool with me being literally behind him all the time, asking him questions, and learning from him, because, I mean, the fact that his brain fits all of this information and deals with the pressure of like these franchises…”
Zendaya Sets Her Sights on Directing
Euphoria make-up artist Donni Davy previously hinted in an interview that Euphoria Season 3 may begin filming later this year, likely for a 2024 release. With this news in mind, it may not be long before Zendaya takes her talents behind the camera for her directorial debut. Based on her comments about why her last directing plans fell apart though, Rue will probably be absent from the episode she ends up leading behind the camera.
With the popularity of her characters in both Spider-Man and Euphoria, Zendaya has successfully made a name for herself among the most talented young actresses in Hollywood. At 25 years old, the former Disney Channel star will be on the younger side of directors, but it's clear she has dedicated herself to learning the process across her recent acting productions.
Zendaya appears determined to use her future directing opportunities as a platform for representation, as she seeks to put a black woman like herself at the heart of all her films. Only time will tell how she progresses in this goal as she endeavors to move behind the camera, likely while continuing her thriving acting career.
Given her role in Tom Holland's Spider-Man franchise, many will be eager to see her take the reins on a Marvel project. With Zendaya only just preparing for her first directing opportunity, she probably has a long way to go before she would be handed a superhero blockbuster - but Sony would probably hand her one of its spin-offs at the drop of a hat.
The first two seasons of Euphoria are streaming now on HBO Max.