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Zendaya says people pay too much attention to who she kisses on camera

Vaseline 3 months ago

Zendaya has been busy with the press tour for “Challengers,” the tennis drama that features a much-hyped kiss between the actress and costars Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, something she’s been asked about several times. After interviewer Jake Hamilton pointed out that it feels like everyone is obsessed with talking to Zendaya specifically about who she kisses or doesn’t kiss in a movie, the actress agreed, replying, “It’s very strange.”

“I feel like actors have been kissing other actors on screen for a hundred years,” Hamilton said. “It’s literally part of your job. You play a role that requires kissing, it’s something you have to do. But I’m excited if you do it, because I’ve been watching interviews from these press trips. If you do it, an abnormal amount of attention will be paid to it…’

“–I know,” Zendaya interrupted. “It’s very strange.”

“Do you feel like people as a society have forgotten that an actor kissing another actor is literally part of your job? Or are they using it as an excuse to get you to talk about kissing? Hamilton added.

“I have no idea,” Zendaya replied. “I don’t know if it’s because they want it to go viral, I don’t know. But I notice that, specifically with me. I feel like other actors don’t do that… if you were here with someone else, you probably wouldn’t be asked that question. But yes, it is part of my job, and it is a completely normal part of the job, I think, despite other people’s perception of our work.”

The subject of kissing has followed Zendaya for most of her career. In 2021, she confessed that she put her foot down when she was asked to kiss a costar on her 2010-2013 Disney Channel show “Shake It Up” — because she had yet to experience her first kiss in real life and didn’t want it to happen on a TV show.

The press tour for ‘Challengers’ included several tough questions about kissing. After Australian Channel 7’s Edwina Bartholomew asked the actress which of her co-stars was the “best kisser,” Zendaya visibly grimaced. Faist quickly intervened and noted that O’Connor was the best.

Days earlier, O’Connor was asked if he felt “uncomfortable” kissing “Spider-Man’s girlfriend” at the film’s London premiere. A visibly surprised O’Connor replied: ‘Oh, not awkward at all! She’s great, she’s brilliant, she’s a great actor, and yes, she was a joy to work with.

Zendaya and her “Dune” co-star Timothée Chalamet also faced a barrage of kissing questions during the film’s promotional tour. Speaking to Brut Media at the Paris premiere, he pointedly explained: “We are reaching our thirties and have been good friends for years. That was the nature of the job on this one and the nature of the script. It doesn’t get more complicated than that.”

Watch the exchange with Zendaya in the video above.

Zendaya on the red carpet for "Dune: part two" (Getty Images)