Zendaya poses at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Zendaya Really Shouldn’t Have To Explain Kissing Scenes Are Part of Her Job

Viewers have been so weirdly hyper-fixated on Zendaya’s kissing scenes that the actor actually had to explain to viewers that she’s literally just doing her job in those scenes.

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Zendaya is one of the fastest-rising actors in Hollywood, following her role as M.J. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and her award-winning performance in Euphoria. Her latest film is Challengers, one of her first projects to see her portray an adult rather than a high school student. The movie sees her take on the role of Tashi, a bold and fierce tennis sensation who also happens to be caught in a love triangle with fellow tennis players Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor). However, when the movie’s trailer first came out, all anyone could talk about was a three-way kissing scene with Tashi, Art, and Patrick.

While some viewers expressed excitement at her role and compared the scene to similar love triangle movie scenes, the conservation quickly turned weird. Essentially, almost all anyone could talk about after seeing the scene was Zendaya’s boyfriend, Tom Holland. Users started posting countless memes imagining Holland’s reaction to Zendaya’s kissing scene. It was weird and gross to see Zendaya’s new movie somehow twisted around to be all about her boyfriend. The speculation that Holland was jealous, angry, or heartbroken over the scenes was especially disgusting, as users implied that Zendaya was doing something wrong. The response was so odd that Zendaya felt it was necessary to explain she was simply doing her job.

Zendaya addresses the odd response to her kissing scenes

In an interview on Jake’s Takes (via The Hollywood Reporter), Zendaya addressed the “very odd” response to her kissing scenes. During the interview, host Jake Hamilton mentioned that her kissing scenes received an “abnormal” amount of attention and questioned what she thought the reason for the unusual response was.

Zendaya confirmed that she had noticed the response and found it to be odd. However, she replied that she has “no idea” why people respond so bizarrely, questioning if it might be “because they want it to be, like, a viral thing.” She also noted how it only seems to be a thing with her and the question wouldn’t even be relevant to other actors, stating, “I feel like other actors don’t… if it was somebody else here, you probably wouldn’t [have] asked that question.” Zendaya went on to explain, “But yeah, it is a part of my job, and it is a completely normal part of the job despite, I think, maybe other people’s perception of our job. But yeah, it is odd.”

Not only is kissing a topic that other actors wouldn’t have been asked about, but it’s also an aspect of the job that other actors aren’t forced to explain. Does one of the top actors in Hollywood really have to explain that kissing scenes are, in fact, a part of her job? Of course, people think the reactions and questions about kissing are appropriate to ask Zendaya because she’s a woman. When was the last time a male actor’s kissing scene went viral and received thousands of posts speculating on his partner’s reaction? Male actors don’t usually have to spell it out for viewers that, yes, they’re acting in kissing scenes. If people don’t understand that Zendaya does kissing scenes for her job, what exactly do they think she does them for?

It’s highly likely that all the people fixating on Zendaya’s scenes have seen movies with kissing scenes before or seen a woman kissing in general. So, perhaps they should stop acting like it’s some novelty just because Zendaya did it, and they want to be weird and gross about it.

(featured image: Grazer Harrison / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.