Zendaya wants to make a queer romantic epic: ‘A simple love story about two Black girls’

Zendaya has opened up about her dream of making “a simple love story about two Black girls”.

Zendaya spoke to fellow Euphoria actor Colman Domingo for Interview Magazine about how she found her direction as an artist, her career aspirations and the importance of joy for marginalised communities.

Zendaya admits that she doesn’t “necessarily have a plan” in terms of career, and she wants to focus on “the things that make me happy and bring me joy and fulfill me as an artist”. However, the idea of becoming a director has piqued her interest.

“The idea of trying to direct in the future excites me. That’s why I’m on set so much. When I’m not in it, I’m right there trying to learn.” Zendaya explained.

“The hope is that I’ll be able to, one day, make the things that I want to see.”

In particular, Zendaya wants to make “a simple love story about two Black girls”.

“Something simple and beautiful, that leaves you happy and wanting to fall in love yourself,” she said, adding: “I would love a coming-of-age story where awkward and funny things happen, just like when any other young person is trying to figure out who they are.

“Our existence is broad and expansive and beautiful, and to see all the different emotional colours of what it means to be a young Black girl — I would like to see that, because I don’t think I’ve seen many depictions of it.”

While Zendaya admitted that she is not particularly active on social media, she believes her voice can change can be heard through her acting and storytelling.

“Hopefully my ability to be a storyteller, to make those stories that I haven’t seen, to showcase different forms of Black love and the different colours of our emotional experience — that will be my speaking out. That’s my action. Because we learn how to be a person not just through interactions, but by watching movies and TV.”

Zendaya said her experience of playing Rue in Euphoria has helped her emphasise with individuals struggling with addiction, and that she hopes the show can help people “feel less alone in their experiences” and give people the vocabulary people to reach out for help. During the interview, Zendaya recalled fans reaching out to tell her how Euphoria has helped them and admitted that “it still makes me want to cry when I think about it”.

“If we can do that, man, we’re changing the world. Our art can really impact lives — that’s the purpose.”

Zendaya plays Rue, the main character of teen drama Euphoria, which is set to return for a second season in January 2022. In the series, Rue pursues an on-and-off queer relationship with Jules, the new girl in town.