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Of Course Zendaya Made Time’s 100 List, And I’m So Obsessed With All Of The Things Dune’s Director Said About Her

Zendaya as Chani in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Zendaya is only 25-years-old, but the young actress has already become a massive star. From movie roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to her Emmy win for her HBO series Euphoria it’s clear that Zendaya is a talent with a great deal ahead of her, so it’s no wonder she was named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2022. But as big a fan as many people are, I’m not sure anybody in the world loves Zendaya like Dune director Denis Villeneuve. 

Zendaya’s director in last year’s Oscar winning film Dune, Denis Villeneuve, wrote a glowing piece about Zendaya for Time and it is clear that he simply thinks the world of her, and her talent. His words go beyond simple praise, however. It’s like poetry as he attempts to express the type of person that he sees Zendaya to be and it is absolutely incredible. Villeneuve says… 

To me, Zendaya is a thousand years old. She has already lived many lives before this one. And yet, she is as young as springtime. By some inextricable paradox, she also gives the impression of having been born sometime far into the future. She is timeless, and she can do it all.

Zendaya certainly seems to be able to do it all. She is a popular singer as well as actress, and in the video accompanying Denis Villeneuve’s words, Zendaya talks about her interest in working behind the camera as well and all that she has been learning while working on Euphoria

Clearly, the actress has made a big impression on her Dune director. She must have considering that Zendaya says she had to pitch herself for Dune. Now, however, Villeneuve clearly thinks she’s a great actress, but it goes far beyond that. He sings the praises of her recent performances, without even actually mentioning Dune, though that may be because Zendaya’s performance in the Dune sequel is expected to be much bigger. but he believes that she’s also a great deal more than that. Villeneuve thinks Zendaya is on the cusp of a level of cultural relevance that few in her position actually obtain. The director continues…

But Zendaya is much more than that. She is an autonomous creative force herself. A cultural icon in the making. A person driven by pure inspiration, empathy, and respect for her craft, who uses authenticity as a new superpower. She seems fearless, her roots run deep, and I love that she still laughs like a kid. Zendaya is the future. And there is nothing more comforting to me. This is only the beginning.

It’s not hard to believe that Denis Villeneuve is absolutely right when he says Zendaya is the future. She’s reached an incredible level of fame and relevance already, and most of her career is still in front of her. Zendaya is also an activist outside of Hollywood. We haven’t seen all she can do. Years from now we likely look back at these words and see the director of Dune having predicted the future.  

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.