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Zendaya explains career shift for new movie Challengers

Euphoria star Zendaya has opened up about her role in the upcoming movie Challengers, revealing why it feels like "good step" for her career-wise.

Directed by Bones and All's Luca Guadagnino, the actress plays Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach to her husband Art (Mike Faist), who faces off against her ex-boyfriend Patrick (Josh O'Connor) while trying to revive his playing career.

The film has so far received plenty of attention for its trailer which features a sensual scene with the three characters, something which Zendaya appears to be embracing.

In an interview with Elle, which took place prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, she discussed why the movie would help her transition into more "grown-up" roles.

zendaya
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic - Getty Images

Related: Zendaya's new movie Challengers to open Venice Film Festival

"I felt like it was a good step into a more, I guess you could say, 'grown-up' role and into that next phase," she explained, adding that the role was her "first time" playing a leading lady.

"It was a little bit scary to take on, which I think is a good feeling. To be like, 'Ooh, can I do this?' You could run from that feeling and stay safe and comfortable, or you can go, 'You know what, f**k it.'"

The actress previously discussed the film's sex scenes in an interview alongside O'Connor, revealing they may not be what fans are expecting.

mike faist, zendaya and josh o'connor sit on a bed in challengers
Warner Bros.

Related: Zendaya's new movie Challengers delayed until 2024

"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," she told she told Empire.

"The tennis is the sex," O'Connor added. "Those moments are so sexy. The film is dealing with the tension before and after. The sex they're all desperate for is on the court."

Challengers is released in the UK on April 26, 2024.

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