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Zendaya: Life lost purpose in lockdown

Sarah Malik

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felt as though she didn’t have a “purpose” during lockdown.

The ‘Euphoria’ star has admitted she didn’t know what to do with herself when the world shut down last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, because she was so used to spending her life on movie sets that she didn’t feel as though she had an “identity” outside of work.

She said: “[COVID lockdown] was my first time just being like, ‘Okay, who am I without this?’ Which is a very scary thing to confront and work through, because I don’t really know Zendaya outside of the Zendaya who works. I didn’t realise how much my job and my art were a part of my identity as a human.

“I feel most like myself when I’m working. I felt like, when I wasn’t working, my powers had gone away, and I was like, ‘Who the f***-’ I didn’t really know who I was and what makes me happy. What do I like to do? What else do I do? What is my value? What is my purpose now?”

After trying out various hobbies, the 24-year-old actress eventually teamed up with ‘Euphoria’ creator Sam Levinson for a secret movie project, which manifested itself as ‘Malcom & Marie’, a black-and-white relationship drama hitting Netflix on February 5.

In September, Zendaya bagged her first ever Emmy Award for her acting in ‘Euphoria’, and said taking home a Best Actress gong meant so much to her, because it helped her realise she isn’t “letting anybody down”.

Speaking to GQ magazine, she said: “In a lot of ways it feels like proving something to myself personally, yeah, but I feel like, I feel good about it for all of us. It feels like recognition that maybe we aren’t just like that little crazy show with the crazy kids, you know what I mean?

“For me, it’s when people say that their kids watched me. They just say, ‘We’re really proud of you, girl. We’re proud of you. Keep doing what you’re doing. I see you.’ I’m just like ‘Aw, thank you!’ I feel like everyone at that moment becomes my auntie, and I’m just like, ‘Oh, my God, I want to make you proud.’ You know?

“But that stuff really means a lot to me. I think … that me wanting to control everything is just not wanting to f*** up. Not wanting to let anybody down. And that’s why we talk to therapists.”

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