Zendaya has one of the biggest movies of the year coming very soon with Dune: Part Two, but after that, she’ll be starring in a very different sort of film. As seen in the Challengers trailer, the film will see her co-star as a former tennis prodigy and girlfriend tennis star played by Josh O’Connor. And while the characters they play are apparently quite terrible people, it sounds like making the movie was a lot of fun. It also became very special thanks to Beyonce, even though the singer isn’t actually part of the movie.
In a piece for V Magazine Zendaya herself interviews her co-star O’Conner, and in a discussion of the actor’s personal passion for ceramics, he brings up just what a fan of Beyonce Zendaya is. The two of them apparently sang Beyonce songs together during production, and when a new song was released during production, Zendaya was apparently incommunicado. O’Conner said…
It’s always like the funny thing. I feel like I can go off in my own head at times and be a little distant. But if anyone strikes up a conversation with me about ceramics, they’ll first be like, ‘Oh my god, Josh is lit up about something.’ And then, like five minutes later, be like, ‘Shut up. Stop talking about this.’ But I find that everyone has a thing that makes them tick [laughs]. There was a day when we were shooting and Beyonce’s new track was coming out–and I’m not saying that Beyonce is like your equivalent of my ceramics, but no one could talk to Z. Like we didn’t engage that entire day, you were just listening to that song every second.
Josh O’Connor is almost certainly on to something. We all probably have at least one thing that we are passionate about. That thing that, given the chance, we could teach a class on, if somebody let us. For him that’s ceramics, for Zendaya it’s Beyonce. Of course, in her case it wasn’t a case of not being able to shut up about something, it was not being able to speak because she was so focused.
Zendaya says that the song was a “gift” from Beyonce. It was the last day of Challengers filming in Boston, so Zendaya saw it as the singer offering a farewell gift. She explained…
You know what it was? It was our last day in Boston. And I was like, ‘What are the odds?’ She gave us a good song to give us our farewell.
It sounds like the Challengers team did have a nice farewell thanks to the song. If Zendaya was listening nonstop then odds are everybody had a chance to hear it as well. Challengers was originally set for release this fall but has become one of the projects delayed by the ongoing actors and writer's strikes. There have been rumors that Dune: Part Two may get a similar delay, but that has yet to be confirmed. Challengers is now set for release in April 2024.