Zendaya Covers Vogue, Talks Making Boss Moves At Disney: “A Lot Of People Don’t Realize Their Power”
You know you’ve come a long way when you go from Disney shows to the cover of Vogue.
Zendaya, your favorite young starlet, is on the cover of the July issue of Vogue. If you’re wondering what the occasion is for such an amazing opportunity, she’s starring in the upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming film coming out on July 7. She looks stunning front and center on the magazine in a Calvin Klein dress with Diane von Furstenberg and Dinosaur Designs earrings:
Inside of the magazine, Zendaya, and those who know her best (including dad Kazembe Ajamu), talked about everything — her childhood, her move to Los Angeles, that Aaliyah biopic, the Giuliana Rancic drama over her faux locs, love, and of course, her style. But one of the most interesting bits of information shared by the 20-year-old was how much of a role she played, even as a teenager, in negotiating to produce and develop her Disney show, K.C. Undercover. She’s been a boss:
“I got in a room with the heads of Disney Channel,” Zendaya says, recounting a meeting that took place four years ago, when she was sixteen. By this time she had already completed her first Disney show, Shake It Up, in which she costarred as an aspiring dancer alongside Bella Thorne. For her to sign on to K.C. Undercover, she decided, Disney would need to meet demands. First they would need to make her a producer. Next she objected to the show’s title, which at the time was Super Awesome Katy. “I was like, ‘The title is whack. That’s gonna change.’ ” She then rejected her character’s name (“Do I look like a Katy to you?”) and insisted that the show feature a family of color.
There were other conditions: “I wanted to make sure that she wasn’t good at singing or acting or dancing. That she wasn’t artistically inclined. I didn’t want them to all of a sudden be like, ‘Oh, yeah, and then she sings this episode!’ No. She can’t dance; she can’t sing. She can’t do that stuff. There are other things that a girl can be.” Zendaya issued some final requirements: “I want her to be martial arts–trained. I want her to be able to do everything that a guy can do. I want her to be just as smart as everybody else. I want her to be a brainiac. I want her to be able to think on her feet. But I also want her to be socially awkward, not a cool kid. I want her to be normal with an extraordinary life.”
In using her leverage to seize control in this manner, Ajamu says, “she broke all the rules.” To Zendaya, it was a no-brainer. “A lot of people don’t realize their power,” she says. “I have so many friends who say yes to everything or feel like they can’t stand up for themselves in a situation.” She is now pounding a fist on the dining table at Soho House. “No: You have the power.”
Check out a few of our favorite shots from Zendaya’s photo shoot, and be sure to check out her full interview and spread over at Vogue.com.