Zendaya dishes on her "messy" Challengers role and love of Beyoncé

Los Angeles, California - Speaking with Challengers co-star Josh O'Connor, Zendaya opened up about her "messy" character in the steamy rom-com and how listening to Beyoncé played a key role on set.

Zendaya (r.) avidly listened to Beyoncé while filming her upcoming movie, Challengers.
Zendaya (r.) avidly listened to Beyoncé while filming her upcoming movie, Challengers.  © Collage: Chris DELMAS / AFP & IMAGO / NurPhoto

In a new interview with V Man, the 26-year-old and her 33-year-old co-star gave fans some insight into the Luca Guadagnino-helmed movie, due in theaters next April.

The tennis-centric flick follows Zendaya's character, Tashi, a former star in the sport who coaches her husband, Art, to success on the court.

When Art is pitted against Tashi's ex Patrick (played by Josh O'Connor), in a Challengers tournament, tensions run high both personally and professionally.

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Zendaya dished on the movie's nuanced portrayal of "good" and "bad," noting that it's not easy to distinguish a clear moral assessment of the characters.

"They're messy, and they make bad decisions sometimes, or complicated decisions, and I think it's our job to let people see different versions of themselves or people that they love in a different way," she said.

O'Connor also revealed how the pair continued their passions on set as a way to unwind. While the British actor gushed about his love of ceramics, he revealed that Zendaya's preferred pastime is listening to Beyoncé.

Zendaya listened to Beyoncé "every second" on Challengers set

Challengers hits theaters on April 26, 2024.
Challengers hits theaters on April 26, 2024.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

"There was a day when we were shooting, and Beyoncé's new track was coming out — and I'm not saying that Beyoncé is like your equivalent of my ceramics, but no one could talk to Z," O'Connor said.

"Like we didn't engage that entire day, you were just listening to that song every second," he added, likely referring to Bey's 2022 song, BREAK MY SOUL.

The Malcolm & Marie star is undoubtedly a member of the BeyHive, as she was spotted singing her heart out alongside her boyfriend, Tom Holland, at the Renaissance World Tour in June.

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Zendaya also crossed paths with Queen Bey at the Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris earlier that month, with the stars sitting next to one another in the front row of the show.

As for how the Renaissance energy influenced her role in Challengers, fans will get to see for themselves when the movie swings into theaters on April 26, 2024.

Cover photo: Collage: Chris DELMAS / AFP & IMAGO / NurPhoto

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