Zendaya says she plays her most ‘cruel’ character yet in film Challengers

Zendaya says she plays her most ‘cruel’ character yet in film Challengers

Zendaya has said her character in the film Challengers is the “most unapologetically cruel” woman she has ever portrayed.

In the movie, the Euphoria and Dune star, 27, plays Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy-turned-coach.

Speaking to the PA news agency on the red carpet of the film’s premiere, she said: “I like to believe that I have characters that are multifaceted and dimensional in some kind of way.

“But I think she definitely is the most unapologetically cruel, sometimes, and direct character that I’ve ever played.

“And it was interesting to play someone, also, who is closer to my own age.

“So while I do get to be with her when she’s 18, we also get to see her grow as a woman, and visit her and understand her in different parts of her life.”

Zendaya’s character is married to Art, played by West Side Story star Mike Faist, who is a tennis champion on a losing streak.

UK premiere of Challengers – London
Josh O’Connor, Zendaya and Mike Faist (Ian West/PA)

Art faces off against Patrick, played by The Crown’s Josh O’Connor, who is his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend

God’s Own Country actor O’Connor said it was nice to learn a new skill but admitted that he was “not very good” at tennis.

He told PA: “I love watching tennis, but I’m not very good on the court.

“But I learned lots. It’s always nice learning a new skill.

UK premiere of Challengers – London
Josh O’Connor at the premiere (Ian West/PA)

“I feel like as actors we get these opportunities to learn different skills and that’s always the nice thing. We’re sort of jack of all trades, masters of none.”

Zendaya, who is among the stars co-chairing this year’s Met Gala in May, appeared on the red carpet outside the Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square, London, on Wednesday, in a white halter neck dress that was embroidered with a tennis motif comprising two rackets.

O’Connor wore a black suit with a white top that looked to have three words emblazoned across it.

Challengers will arrive in UK cinemas on April 26.