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Zendaya praises Challengers co-stars for helping her get through workout sessions

Written by on September 9, 2023

Zendaya has praised her Challengers co-stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist for helping her “smile and laugh” through their workout sessions.

In Luca Guadagnino’s new drama, the Dune actress plays Tashi, a tennis ace-turned-coach who becomes involved in a love triangle with her husband and ex-boyfriend, played by Faist and O’Connor, respectively.

During an Ask Me Anything video for Elle, the 27-year-old admitted she wasn’t thrilled about the physical preparation required for the sports movie, but her co-stars helped make it a fun experience.

“I’m not the hugest fan of having to work out, I don’t necessarily look forward to it, but I had to because my character’s supposed to be a tennis pro and clearly I’m not giving tennis pro,” she stated. “We had an incredible team of people that we got to learn from but I was with Josh and Mike every day and they were the reason I was able to smile and laugh through our workout sessions. It was a good time, I think we all really needed to lean on each other in those moments.”

The trio spent three months in tennis training in Boston, Massachusetts to convincingly portray professionals at a tournament and Zendaya previously admitted that she felt “terrified” trying to get her movements just right.

“The more I had to pretend to do tennis in front of a camera with an audience, the more terrified I felt. And I was not even using a real ball,” she told Elle magazine. “I’m just doing the form and footwork and getting my swing right and doing it in front of a whole bunch of people as if it’s the US Open, and I’m terrified.”

Challengers was postponed from September to April 2024 due to the ongoing actors’ strike.

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