Zendaya Teases Sensuality of Her New Movie Challengers

By David Thompson Posted:
Zendaya in Challengers

Zendaya recently discussed the "sensuality" of Challengers, her upcoming film alongside Josh O'Conner and Mike Faist.

Starring and producing in Challengers, Zendaya takes on the role of Tashi Duncan, the wife and trainer of a Grand Slam champion who signs him up for a Challenger event, where he will compete against her ex-boyfriend.

The steamy trailer debuted on June 20 and caught the eyes of many fans when a young Tashi juggles the romantic interests of both Patrick (O'Conner) and Art (Faist).

After concerns regarding the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes, the film directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film was recently delayed from September 15, 2023 to April 26, 2024.

Zendaya Discusses Sexy Scenes in New Movie

Zendaya in Challengers

During a recent interview with Empire Magazine (prior to the actors' strike), star actress Zendaya discussed the "sensuality" in the upcoming Challengers movie.

The interviewer mentioned that Challengers is "a film about sex, but the sex is not really seen." Zendaya responded by saying what director Luca Guadagnino is "really good at is finding sensuality and desire:" 

"What Luca’s really good at is finding sensuality and desire. There’s so much in just glances. The tension builds. Not having the release is a good thing sometimes."

In addition, Zendaya discussed some of the reasons she decided to star and produce the film, including the layered elements of "the scene on paper" and "the scene happening underneath:"

"There’s the scene on paper and then there’s the scene happening underneath. Every character is living out a whole different life from what they’re maybe expressing. I think that’s true for every human being."

Co-star Mike Faist chimed in, adding that Challengers "is not an easy thing to take on" and that it's "genre-less:"

"This [movie] is not an easy thing to take on. It’s genre-less. I have trouble explaining it."

Josh O'Conner echoed that sentiment, saying, "It’s really hard to categorize." 

After Zendaya called it "a fun movie," O'Connor said some of the early elements in Challengers are "Superbad-esque:"

"Early in the film, there are elements of that Superbad-esque teen movie. Then, as an audience, you grow up with them. It reflects life: things are scary, funny, traumatic — it all melds."

How Zendaya's Next Film Is a Complicated, Challenging Story

Challengers is set to take place over many years, seeing Tashi, Patrick, and Art as teenagers and then as young adults.

After suffering an apparent knee injury in the trailer, Tashi becomes her husband's (Art) tennis coach. 

The tension between Art, Patrick, and Tashi is apparent when they've grown up, but the past hasn't been fully moved past.

The early scenes of young romance and intimacy st what caught the attention of many during its first footage, but based on Zendaya's comments, this won't be the main reason for audiences to head out to their local theater.

Challengers hits theaters on April 26, 2024.

- In This Article: Challengers
Release Date
April 26, 2024
Mike Faist
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.