Zendaya Thinks It’s “Very Odd” That People Are So Interested in Her Onscreen Kissing Scenes

“If there was somebody else here, you probably wouldn’t ask that question.”

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The world at large is definitely interested in who Zendaya is kissing offscreen—hello Tom Holland!—but is also interested in who she is kissing onscreen, and the superstar finds it all “very odd,” according to Us Weekly

As her latest film, Challengers, prepares to hit theaters on Friday, Zendaya admitted she doesn’t fully understand why people care about her kissing scenes (and beyond). While being interviewed on Jake’s Takes on Sunday, she was asked by host Jake Hamilton about the “abnormal amount of attention paid” to these types of scenes by the media. 

Zendaya in New York City for Challengers April 2024

Zendaya continues to stun on her "Challengers" press tour.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I have no idea [why],” she said. “I don’t know if it’s because they want it to be a viral thing, but I have noticed that—with me, specifically. I feel like others actors don’t—if there was somebody else here, you probably wouldn’t ask that question. But yeah, it is a part of my job and it’s a completely normal part of the job, despite maybe other people’s perception of our job. But yeah, it is odd.” She added “Thank you for bringing that up, because I was thinking the same thing. This is weird.”

The Challengers trailer features what appears to be the leadup to a steamy threesome—but Zendaya clarified that the scenes in the film don’t actually show much. “What’s really special about this movie is that it is incredibly sexy, but there surprisingly [are] no sex scenes,” she told IndieWire. “I’ve been asked a lot about sex scenes from people who have seen the movie, and I’m like, ‘What sex scenes?’” 

Zendaya wears a green mugler suit leaving Good Morning American on Tuesday April 23

Both onscreen and off, people can't get enough of who Zendaya's romantic interest is.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The film shows Zendaya as Tashi, a tennis star-turned-coach embroiled in a love triangle with two other athletes—her husband, Art (played by Mike Faist), and her ex Patrick (played by Josh O’Connor). Challengers sees Zendaya step into the leading lady role as a grown woman (in the film, Tashi is 30) rather than playing a teenager, a la, say, Euphoria. She told Vogue that she found the role “so refreshing,” adding “It was also kind of scary, because I was like, I hope people buy me as my own age, or maybe a little bit older, because I have friends that have kids, or are having kids.” (For the record, she’s 27 years old and will turn 28 in September.)

Zendaya at the Los Angeles premiere of "Challengers" held at Regency Village Theatre on April 16, 2024 in Los Angeles, California

"Challengers" hits theaters this Friday, April 26.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya told Elle last August, speaking specifically about her role in Challengers, “From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me,” she said. “As I get older, you know, I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.