*Zendaya has addressed the criticism over the age gap between her and co-star John David Washington in the upcoming Netflix drama “Malcolm & Marie.”
In the drama, the former Disney star, 24, plays the girlfriend of 36-year-old Washington. Fans are not feeling their 12-year age difference. One follower noted that the actress “was a Disney channel star, and because she plays a teenager in Spiderman and Euphoria, that age-gap becomes more noticeable.”
Speaking with E! about the backlash, Zendaya said, “I’ve played a 16-year-old since I was 16. You have to remember, also, people grew up with me as a child. It’s like watching, I guess, your younger sibling now, you know, they’re grown.”
“So it’s hard for people to wrap around the idea that I am grown in real life. You know, even though I do play a teenager on television still.”
First clip from ”MALCOLM & MARIE’ starring Zendaya and John David Washington pic.twitter.com/HuF85K2k1o
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She made similar remarks to People, saying: “People often forget — I am grown.”
Washington also addressed the age gap in an interview with Variety.
“I wasn’t concerned about it because she is a woman,” he told the publication. “People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is. She has far more experience than I do in the industry. I’ve only been in it for seven years. She’s been in it longer, so I’m learning from her. I’m the rookie.”
“I appreciated her wisdom and discernment when it comes to this business,” he added. “I admire that. What I’m really excited for people to see when the film is released. They’re going to see how mature she is in this role.”
“Malcolm & Marie” drops February 5th on Netflix.