“It was a real miracle”: Zendaya’s Flawless Tennis in ‘Challengers’ isn’t Real After Actress Found a Way to Beat the System

Zendaya viewed tennis as dance choreography to perfect her sporting sequences.

“It was a real miracle”: Zendaya’s Flawless Tennis in ‘Challengers’ isn’t Real After Actress Found a Way to Beat the System

SUMMARY

  • Zendaya had a hard time preparing for her role of a former tennis player turned coach in the upcoming Challengers.
  • When the actress could not play tennis properly even after repeated training, she viewed it as a dance routine and copied her body double.
  • Zendaya's co-stars confirmed that using this approach, she could perfectly fake the sport and looked like an absolute pro.
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Zendaya plays a former tennis player turned coach, Tashi Duncan, in her upcoming Challengers. Following her roles in the Spider-Man franchise and Dune, Zendaya was presented with a new type of challenge for this Luca Guadagnino directorial. During a recent interview, the actress revealed that she devised a very unique plan to perfectly play the role of a tennis pro.

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Challengers (2024)
Challengers (2024)

It was extremely hard for the Euphoria fame to elevate her tennis playing skills to an elite level. Despite being trained by some of the most renowned names in the field, the 27-year-old struggled to crack the perfect technique. Ultimately, she devised a unique idea and saw it more as a dance, which helped her to perfectly fake it on camera.

How did Zendaya make her tennis look flawless in Challengers?

Zendaya in Challengers
Zendaya in Challengers

The upcoming movie Challengers, made by the Call Me By Your Name fame Luca Guadagnino, focuses on the former tennis player turned coach who plans a strategy to end her husband’s losing streak. However, her strategy takes a wild turn when it’s revealed that her husband must compete with his ex-best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend in the competition.

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Speaking with Vogue, Zendaya revealed that she had limited knowledge about the sport before working on Challengers“Serena and Venus—that’s all I connected to. And probably Roger Federer.” The Dune actress alongside her co-stars, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, followed a strict training routine under Brad Gilbert, on three different courts.

Zendaya as Tashi
Zendaya as Tashi

For extra help, Zendaya also took inputs from Eric Taino, the former ATP Tour player, who also worked in Will Smith’s King Richard. However, it was getting extremely difficult for her, until she started to view it as a dance routine- “I started treating it more like dance, like, Okay, it’s more copying mannerisms, copying footwork, whatever. So everything then became shadowing.”

The Shake It Up actress delved more into her preparation for the role and revealed that she used to mimic her body double while the latter hit the ball. This approach made her feel more comfortable and helped her to fake it more perfectly. O’Connor stated that after some time Zendaya aced the sport and stated “It was a real miracle how “she looked like a real pro” on camera.

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Zendaya speaks on the importance of having an intimacy coordinator on set

Zendaya, Josh O'Connor, and Mike Faist in Challengers
Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist in Challengers

Besides tennis, Challengers‘ story also goes deep into the sensual love triangle between the three leads. Pop culture enthusiasts must remember how a bold scene from the film featuring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist skyrocketed on the internet. It even led to many memes involving the Malcolm & Marie actress’ boyfriend and Spider-Man fame Tom Holland.

Zendaya opened up about the bold scenes in the film admitting that they were filmed in the presence of an intimacy coordinator. She stated that the intimacy coordinator was very important for them to feel safe on the set- “We had an intimacy coordinator which was fantastic and very helpful” (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The Euphoria star added that she spoke with her co-stars so that they could feel easy on the set. They also rehearsed together and tried to make an incredible bond among themselves. Mike Faist also passed a similar statement and claimed that they formed a real friendship while working on the movie.

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Challengers is set to be released on April 26, 2024.

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Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1234

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.