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Zendaya has had major fashion moments at the Oscars for years, and tonight just adds to her Oscars lookbook. The Euphoria and Malcolm & Marie (opens in new tab) actress arrived on the red carpet for the Academy Awards, dressed in a yellow custom Valentino Couture cutout dress with Bulgari jewelry and Jimmy Choo heels.
Zendaya is a presenter at the Oscars but has no nominations this year, unfortunately. (Malcolm & Marie was snubbed.) She was, however, nominated for a Best Actress award at the Critics’ Choice Awards for Malcom & Marie. She won an Emmy for her work in Euphoria last year.
Zendaya spoke candidly to GQ (opens in new tab) at the beginning of the year about how the coronavirus pandemic—and quarantining amid film sets behind shut down—forced her to reckon with her identity and how she defines herself outside of work.
“It was my first time just being like, ‘Okay, who am I without this?’” she started. “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 realize how much my job and my art were a part of my identity as a human.”
She also spoke about her disappointment seeing the roles offered to her—and how they were often written to just help the male character, rather than have their own story. “It’s not necessarily that any of [the scripts] were bad or something like that,” she started. “I just felt like a lot of the roles that I was reading, specifically female roles, were just like, I could have played them all as the same person and it wouldn’t have mattered, if that makes sense.
“The best way to describe it is just like, they’d usually serve the purpose of helping the male character get to where they need to go, do what they need to do,” she continued. “They don’t really have an arc of their own. And they usually feel very one-dimensional in the sense that there’s not a lot of layers to them, meaning they all seem very kind of like the same person over and over and over again. It would have been great and it would have been fine, but I wouldn’t have grown at all.”
Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.
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