Wed 07 Oct 2015, 10:01
Zendaya is a young woman of many talents. She acts, sings, models and dances and has a leading role in Disney XD's new series, KC Undercover.
The series, starting on Monday 12 October at 16:25, follows KC Cooper (Zendaya), a 16-year-old girl who learns that her parents are spies and they expect her to be one too! She must cope with life as an agent as well as the problems and pitfalls of teenage life.
Speaking about her new role, Zendaya says she enjoys playing KC who - like her - is a regular girl who has an extraordinary side. “I really enjoy playing KC. She’s a normal girl and it has been so fun to play a character that is more like myself. The fact that I’m able to be a spy and do all these crazy stunts and fun things is great, not a lot of normal 18 year-olds get to do that in their day job.”
One thing that KC does have in common with “normal 18 year-olds” is a best friend. Zendaya explains that KC finds it difficult not to share her spy identity with Marisa (played by Veronica Dunne from Kickin It). "It’s definitely hard for KC, but it’s just a way of balancing her life. Sometimes it does put a strain and create some turmoil for her friendship. As KC becomes used to being a spy and living that lifestyle, she learns how to balance this secret as the storyline progresses.”
Zendaya admits that she defers from her character in terms of talents. “KC is talented in lots of ways; she’s academically talented and she’s also great at martial arts. For me, my talents are more geared towards the arts. They are very different to KC’s talents but we both have a job to do!”
Part of that job for Zendaya is being the co-producer on the series: “If I have an idea for the show or anything that I feel I want to create then I have the space and the place to do that. It’s awesome. Each episode allows me to dress up and embrace random and outrageous characters. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy the variety.”
The fun has also made for some great memories. “There’s this one scene where I and the actors who play my dad and my brother in the show are stuck in this van. It was a tough day and we kept messing up our lines, and all of sudden we could not stop laughing. It was a lot of fun!”
Zendaya, who also stars in Shake It Up!, says that acting gravitated towards her. “I’ve always had this connection to it. Ever since I was little, I have always been submerged in the world of arts - whether it be theatre, dance or singing.”
Even with such a successful career, Zendaya adds that she doesn't look at herself as a role model. “I don’t just want to be a role model, I want to be a real model. I feel like I don’t really play a role. I’m not pretending to be someone because I know people are watching me. I genuinely just try to be who I am. I’m very conscious of the people who are looking up to me and watching me. To be able to touch someone in a really positive way is something that I’ve always wanted to do.”
In terms of her own real model, she looks up to Raven Simone from That's So Raven because, “not only do I think she is a very talented and funny actress, I also have a lot of respect for her as a person. She is so friendly and made me feel very welcome from the first day that I met her.”
Zendaya is also a big fan of Beyoncé and would love to work with her one day. “My dream collaborator? That’s easy. The answer will always and forever be Beyoncé. I am her biggest fan!” adding that she would spy on the Love on Top singer if she could and would also like to save the first family. “If I was a spy in real life, I would love to save the President and his family. I think that would be kind of cool and exciting! I’d be great at undercover stuff because hopefully I’d be good at acting and embracing the role of a character. I like to laugh a lot so I’m not sure I’d be the most discrete.”
Catch Zendaya in KC Undercover on Disney XD (304) weekdays from Monday 12 October to Thursday 22 October at 16:25.