Zendaya to Portray a Villain in Her Upcoming Movie “Challengers”

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By Black Widow

Zendaya, known for her dynamic performances in various roles, is set to captivate audiences once again by embracing a character with a villainous edge in her upcoming movie Challengers. Amid her commitments to Euphoria Season 3 and Dune: Part Two. Zendaya’s portrayal of a tennis trainer and wife in Challengers promises to showcase her versatility as an actress.

Zendaya’s Villainous Turn in Challengers

Zendaya, often associated with heroic and empowering roles, is taking a bold step into the realm of antagonists in her role as Tashi Duncan in Challengers.

In an interview conducted with her co-star Josh O’Connor for VMagazine, Zendaya, and O’Connor playfully discussed their “villain-esque” characters. They jokingly used terms like “horrific” and “so terrible” to describe their on-screen personas, portraying a married couple in the film.


O’Connor noted that their characters are pretty different from their authentic selves, with Zendaya echoing this sentiment. While acknowledging their characters’ “villain-esque quality,” Zendaya emphasized the fun they had exploring these darker aspects.

Complex Characters and Shifting Perspectives

One intriguing aspect of Challengers is the ambiguity surrounding who the true antagonist is among the characters. She teased that the perception of good and bad shifts as the story unfolds, allowing viewers to see the characters from various perspectives.


Zendaya and O’Connor humorously referred to Challengers as Codependency: The Movie, highlighting one of the film’s central themes—humanity. They emphasized the importance of portraying messy, flawed characters who make challenging decisions, ultimately aiming to connect with the audience on a profound level.

Villains with a Purpose

Zendaya’s shift toward a villainous role in Challengers is a departure from her previous more heroic characters, such as her role as MJ in the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy. While her previous work has often depicted heroes or relatable figures, her character in Challengers delves into the darker aspects of human nature.

The complexity of villains who believe in their purpose is a significant film element. Zendaya and O’Connor discussed how their characters must have a sense of purpose and conviction, even if their actions may be morally questionable.

Zendaya’s venture into the role of a villain in Challengers is an exciting evolution in her acting career. As she takes on this challenging character, audiences can anticipate a nuanced and thought-provoking performance. The film’s exploration of complex characters and shifting perspectives adds depth to the narrative, promising an engaging cinematic experience.

While Challengers has faced delays due to industry strikes, fans eagerly await the opportunity to witness Zendaya’s compelling portrayal when the movie hits theaters on April 26, 2024.