The Greatest Showman’s Zendaya Reveals What Was So ‘Special’ About Filming The Musical

Zendaya as Anne Wheeler in The Greatest Showman
(Image credit: (Fox))
(Image credit: (Fox))

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Like her Spider-Man co-star Tom Holland, Zendaya has been challenging herself with different kinds of roles as of late. She’s been showing off her dramatic chops with Sam Levinson as Rue in his heartbreaking teen drama, Euphoria and in Malcolm & Marie, a commentary on ego and film criticism. Zendaya has been so busy we may overlook the fact that she totally killed it in a Broadway-style musical, The Greatest Showman, which was a pretty special experience for her.

In the 2017 movie, Zendaya played a trapeze artist and the secret lover to Zac Efron’s character. They sang the show stopping “Rewrite the Stars” together, and it dazzled our hearts right out of our chest. While having an intimate questionnaire with Vanity Fair to reveal her true personality, Zendaya reflected on making The Greatest Showman. The actress answered deep questions such as her ‘greatest regret’ and ‘greatest extravagance.’ When asked about a talent that she would like to have, Zendaya expressed a desire to do more physical activities, later reflecting on why by thinking back to her hard work on the movie musical with these words:

I remember when I did Greatest Showman and I had to work out every day, I got to do this trapeze training. Just how cool that was that I was developing this new skill and this new talent for something. Watching kind of my body transform and watching me get better every day as I went back to training and got up there and climbed that ladder and jumped off. I felt my body find out what it was capable of as it was happening and that was really, really special. So, I wish I had developed more of those kind of physical talents.

Zendaya has expressed her disinterest in physical activities before, sharing a funny workout trick she created for herself to force herself to get her workouts in. The actress apparently would throw on wigs and embody characters while working out in order to satisfy her cravings to act in the midst of quarantine and also get those muscles fired up. She’d surprise her assistant with new characters everyday for their daily workouts.

Even if it's not in her nature to hit the gym and pump some iron, as Zendaya expressed, she did really enjoy the training she did for The Greatest Showman. Getting to see herself push her body’s limits and find satisfaction in learning something physical was a rewarding experience for her, and it sounds like she has the desire to pursue that again. You can get a taste of her skills by watching her perform "Rewrite the Stars":

The actress has definitely chosen more emotional and reflective roles than physical ones but, hey, she’s totally part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Could MJ kick some butt? Now that MJ knows all about Peter Parker (along with literally everyone), we’d imagine she might take a more active role in the franchise's next installment. Speaking of which, Zendaya teamed up with Tom Holland and Jacob Batalan earlier this week to reveal the official title of Spider-Man 3.

Aside from Spider-Man, Zendaya is set to return as Rue for Euphoria Season 2. But until then, she’s totally great in The Greatest Showman, which is available to stream on Disney+. You can subscribe to the streaming service using this link and check out what’s new to Disney+ this month here on CinemaBlend.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.