Zendaya revealed how she took on Disney before starring in “K.C. Undercover,” because she’s a boss
If you ever needed proof that she was a BOSS, Zendaya shared how she took on Disney bosses when she was just 16 years old, and it’s pretty incredible.
The singer, actor, and activist graced her first Vogue cover in promotion of her upcoming movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, where she spoke about her early career, specifically her time on Disney Channel shows K.C. Undercover — in which she still stars — and Shake It Up, which she starred in alongside Bella Thorne.
The 20-year-old star recalled how, when Shake It Up finished and Disney were discussing the possibility of her starring in a new show, she put her foot down and requested a few changes. Firstly, she said, they had to make her a producer on the show, and secondly they had to change the name, which was originally Super Awesome Katy.
“I was like, ‘The title is whack. That’s gonna change,’” she told Vogue, noting that she also made them change the character’s name (“Do I look like a Katy to you?”) and made sure that they added a family of color.
“I [also] wanted to make sure that she wasn’t good at singing or acting or dancing. That she wasn’t artistically inclined,” she said. “I didn’t want them to all of a sudden be like, ‘Oh, yeah, and then she sings this episode!’ No. She can’t dance; she can’t sing. She can’t do that stuff. There are other things that a girl can be.”
Indeed, Zendaya said that she wanted to make sure that the character wasn’t your usual Disney Channel fare, and that they could do everything a boy could do.
"I want her to be martial arts–trained. I want her to be able to do everything that a guy can do. I want her to be just as smart as everybody else. I want her to be a brainiac. I want her to be able to think on her feet. But I also want her to be socially awkward, not a cool kid. I want her to be normal with an extraordinary life," she revealed.
The actor put her determination down to one thing: having power.
“A lot of people don’t realize their power,” she opined. “I have so many friends who say yes to everything or feel like they can’t stand up for themselves in a situation. No: You have the power.”
YES QUEEN! It’s so incredible to see someone so young sticking up for what they believe in, and especially important to see a woman of color showing that she is in control. As Zendaya says, she has the power, and we’re 100% behind her.
You can read Zendaya’s full Vogue story here.