How Did Zendaya Become So Famous? Her Career Evolution From Disney To Euphoria

13 September 2022, 11:55 | Updated: 13 September 2022, 15:12

Zendaya has had quite the career already
Zendaya has had quite the career already. Picture: Alamy
Capital FM

By Capital FM

Zendaya is undeniably a household name and has achieved a lot at the young age of 26! Here's the lowdown on her career evolution from Disney to the silver screen...

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We can all agree on one thing: Zendaya is a force to be reckoned with!

Whether it's in the world of film or television, music or fashion, this 26-year-old has proved that she's a jack of all trades – but how has she got to this point?

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The actress has been active in the industry for over a decade and has quickly reached unparalleled heights since her days within the Disney machine.

As Zendaya celebrated her history-making win at the 74th Emmy Awards, let's take a look at how she became a household name – From starting out on Shake It Up as a young teen to the top-billing blockbuster actress we know her as today...

Zendaya has done a lot in her 26 years
Zendaya has done a lot in her 26 years. Picture: Alamy

Zendaya kicked off her career on Disney

Zendaya – whose birth name is Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman – was a Disney darling for most of her teens!

The multi-faceted actress got her start on the teen sitcom Shake It Up in 2010, where she co-starred with long term friend Bella Thorne.

She started the gig at the young age of 14 until it wrapped on its third and final season in 2013. The series also made way for Zendaya's music career as Shake It Up also released multiple soundtracks and singles.

But that's not where the star's Disney journey ended! She added another string to her bow in 2014 when she produced and starred in K.C. Undercover, which ran for three seasons until Zendaya was 21.

Zendaya debuted on 'Shake It Up'
Zendaya debuted on 'Shake It Up'. Picture: Alamy
Zendaya produced and starred in K.C. Undercover
Zendaya produced and starred in K.C. Undercover. Picture: Alamy

Zendaya starts taking on more mature roles

Following Zendaya's days on the Disney Channel, she began taking on more mature roles as the world began to see her as a more serious actress.

Her involvement in HBO's gritty drama, Euphoria, propelled her to new heights and introduced her talents to new audiences.

Zendaya portrays Rue on HBO's Euphoria
Zendaya portrays Rue on HBO's Euphoria. Picture: Alamy

She portrays the central character of Rue Bennet, a 17-year-old struggling with drug addiction, who is also the narrator of the series.

The second season of the mega-hit arrived in February 2022 after a three-year wait, with the show doubling its audience since it debuted.

Zendaya becomes a blockbuster mainstay

Not only is the young entrepreneur a master of the small screen, but the silver screen too!

The 26-year-old made her feature breakthrough in 2017 when she entered the Marvel Cinematic Universal with the role of Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Zendaya features in the Dune franchise
Zendaya features in the Dune franchise. Picture: Alamy

Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya kept themselves entertained on the set of Dune with fart jokes

Zendaya met boyfriend and co-star Tom Holland on-set of the franchise and has since featured in two more Spider-Man movies.

The star hasn't just fronted Superhero flicks but has also dabbled in the world of science fiction and drama – talk about an eclectic actress.

She played opposite Zac Efron in 2017 with the box office hit The Greatest Showman and appeared in 2021's sci-fi epic Dune: Part One.

Zendaya quickly made her mark on the world of fashion

She can act, she can sing... and she can dress the part!

Zendaya's red carpet looks have always been revered, she never ceases to make her way onto every best-dressed list.

She has even spoken about how she used fashion as a way to bridge the gap between child star to sought-after actress.

Zendaya is always on the best-dressed list
Zendaya is always on the best-dressed list. Picture: Alamy

In 2020, the young talent spoke at a panel about fashion and the entertainment industry, she said: "Another thing that I feel helped me create an avenue and a lane of my own, that was outside of Disney Channel, was fashion."

Speaking on her reputation as a style icon, she continued: "So that kinda became my thing, to like, get out of people seeing me in a certain way."

"I would just dress very well – at things I didn’t need to be at," she quipped.

Zendaya won big at the 2022 Emmy Awards
Zendaya won big at the 2022 Emmy Awards. Picture: Getty

Zendaya makes history with milestone Emmy win

During the 74th Emmy Awards, Zendaya celebrated a historic win as she accepted the coveted award of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Euphoria.

The win marked that the 26-year-old star had become the youngest woman to win two Emmys in the same category as well as the first Black woman to win Lead Actress twice!

In her poignant acceptance speech, Zendaya addressed the Academy: "I just want to say you know, my greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me," she continued, "I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know I’m so grateful for your stories."

Zendaya emotionally said: "I carry them with me, and I carry them with her."

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