Zendaya Announces She'll Play a Mom In Upcoming Movie

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Zendaya Spider-Man No Way Home

Zendaya's new upcoming movie put the megastar in a position she's never been in before on-screen - portraying a mom.

Along with her ongoing efforts on HBO's Euphoria and other major entries, Zendaya is also set to take on a role as a tennis star turned trainer in the upcoming sports dramedy, Challengers.

Zendaya's athlete, Tashi Duncan, will have to navigate the affections of her husband and her ex-boyfriend in this sexually-charged story, although fans will also see the former MCU actress as a character never used in any previous outings before.

Zendaya Becomes a Mom in New Movie

Zendaya in Challengers

In the most recent issue of Empire Magazine, Zendaya discussed her upcoming role as Tashi Duncan in Challengers, particularly touching on Tashi being a mother.

Joining co-stars Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist while discussing their more sensuous moments on-screen, Zendaya confirmed that she'll be "married...with a kid" as part of her character's journey:

Zendaya: [to O’Connor] "You weren’t there. It was a scene in the hotel [between Tashi and Art]. First day, it was, 'You’re a married couple with a kid.' Okay. Alright. Right in the deep end."

O’Connor: "I was like, 'Can we not [start with] a scene with all three of us in it?'… I was back in my hotel getting texts saying, 'Oh my God, these guys are incredible!” I was like, 'I’ve got to do so much more work!'"

Faist looked back on the trio having "six weeks of rehearsal and tennis training" that led them to connect with each other over their tennis skills and the chemistry they built:

"We had six weeks of rehearsal and tennis training, so we were spending full days together. That naturally lends itself to socialization, and we’re all insecure about our tennis games, so it just led to a natural environment to have fun."

O'Connor also mentioned director Luca Guadagnino's "really good eye" for matching actors up while Zendaya addressed how healthy their relationships were with each other as they worked to "figure our shit out:"

O’Connor: "I think Luca has a really good eye for who will match up. Zendaya and Mike are very collaborative and open. There was always acceptance of each other. I think that makes chemistry."

Zendaya: "And there’s no competition. Nobody’s trying to outdo the other person. We’re giving each other room to figure our shit out. We’re playing a match."

Faist: [But at tennis] "Z is way better."

This interview was conducted before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

How Zendaya Expands Her Acting Range

Even only approaching her 27th birthday in September, Zendaya has shown a great deal of range in her roles over the last decade, with Challengers giving her an on-screen child for the first time in her career.

It's still unknown how young the actress' child will be on-screen when the story begins or how far into her life the plot will go, which will leave fans interested to see how she handles being a mother to an infant or a youngster.

Currently, there aren't a ton of plot details outside of the tennis themes and motherhood, and it's unclear how much more fans will find out with the movie's release being delayed from its original September 15 release date.

And with the actors' and writer's strikes still moving forward, which could potentially be the case for months, there will be plenty of other Challengers mysteries to uncover as the entertainment industry looks to get back to work.

Challengers currently doesn't have a theatrical release date.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.